Denton man sentenced to 15 years behind bars for selling teen girl for sex

By: Zaira Perez |Staff Writer

A Denton man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison Monday on charges related to child sex trafficking.

William Adam Jonathan Smith, 31, was arrested in April and convicted in September of one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor and one count of sex trafficking of a minor. His case was tried in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of Texas.

Records say Smith met a 17-year-old victim in summer 2019. He then introduced her to his girlfriend, Charity Cantu, telling her to groom the girl to become a prostitute. Cantu herself pleaded guilty in March 2020 to a racketeering charge and was sentenced in October to two years in federal prison.

The girl went with Cantu to hotels in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to engage in commercial sex acts from August to October 2019, according to court records, when federal agents found the girl during an anti-human trafficking sting. The money earned then went to Smith.

The 17-year-old was found on Oct. 12, 2019, during a sting at Fairfield Inn & Suites, 6851 West Freeway in Fort Worth. Cantu and the victim made about $5,000 to $6,000 per month, according to records, sent to Smith via PayPal and CashApp. Smith rented out motel and hotel rooms for the commercial sex acts, according to records.

Smith was arrested on April 23, 2020, during a sting operation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, Texas Attorney General’s Office and Denton Police Department.

According to court records, Smith was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for both offenses, to run concurrently.