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Duluth men held, sexually assaulted missing girl over 20-day period

The two men have been convicted of sex trafficking of a minor.

A girl who ran away from a residential treatment center was subjected to sexual assault, beatings and even electric shocks during the 20 days she was missing.

The 15 year old was eventually found by Duluth police hiding in a closet, having been held for at least two weeks. Two men, this month, were convicted of sex trafficking the teenager.

According to St. Louis County Attorney Wade Backstrom, after the girl was taken by Wade Mathis Jr., 33, to an apartment in Duluth.

It was there that she was subjected to a combination of beatings, sexual assault, electric shocking, and "psychological control."

During this period, Mathis coerced the girl into committing sexual acts with 44-year-old Amos Koech, for money.

Authorities found text messages sent between the two from June 20 to July 4, 2017, in which they discussed paying for sex, forming the basis of the federal prosecution against both men.

Further evidence discussed at trial found that Koech also took nude photos of the girl, while Mathis attempted to extort money from her parents in return for her safe release.

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A jury returned guilty verdicts in counts of sex trafficking of a minor and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor against Koech this week following a six-day trial. Mathis pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor on Jan. 10, four days prior to trial.

"While no conviction is enough to make up for the horror these two Defendants put this victim through, these convictions do represent a successful and just outcome," said Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Jon Holets in a press release

"The prosecution team credits the success to the teamwork of the FBI and the Duluth Police Department and thanks them for their dedication to the pursuit of justice for the victims of sex trafficking," he added.

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