Madison man convicted on 10 federal counts of child sex trafficking

James Coney Mug

MADISON, Wis. — The U.S. Department of Justice says a Madison man is being convicted of 10 federal crimes related to the sex trafficking of minors.

32-year-old James Coney was convicted in federal court Monday after four days of testimony and five hours of deliberation by a jury.

Among the convictions were guilty verdicts on 4 counts of sex trafficking a minor, 1 count of sex trafficking a minor by force, 1 count of attempted sex trafficking a minor and 4 counts of transporting a minor from Wisconsin to Illinois for the purpose of prostitution.

The DOJ says Coney used ads on the now-defunct web site Backpage to arrange “dates” for a number of minors, collected money and instructed the minors on what to do during the “dates.” All six of the minor victims testified during Coney’s trial.

The investigation began when one of the victims was reported missing by her mother to the Fitchburg Police Department. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children helped the search for the girl, who was eventually found in Chicago where she had been with Coney.

A sentencing date has not yet been set, but Coney faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.