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Johnson: Sex Trafficker Ran 'House Of Horrors'

December 6, 2013, 5:38 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Johnson: Sex Trafficker Ran 'House Of Horrors'

He took in homeless teen girls in Sioux Falls and gave them clean clothes, drugs, alcohol and a roof over their head.

In exchange, 45-year-old Mohammed Sharif Alaboudi forced the girls to work as prostitutes out of a one-bedroom apartment just blocks from downtown Sioux Falls. Alaboudi is now facing life in prison after being convicted of sex trafficking.

About a year ago, Sioux Falls authorities started investigating a crime organization selling drugs and prostitutes. It led them to an upstairs apartment near the intersection of 1st Avenue and 15th Street just blocks from the federal courthouse.

"It was a house of horrors. Mr. Alaboudi was running a house of horrors right here in Sioux Falls," U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson said.

Alaboudi took in vulnerable teen girls and young women and forced them into prostitution.

"This was a place where women with substance abuse addictions, or who were homeless, would know that they could go to get drugs. They could get alcohol and have a roof over their head at least for one night. But part of the trade was they would have to trade their bodies for strangers," Johnson said.

The girls got marijuana, meth and crack cocaine at the apartment. Johnson says they even huffed hair spray.

Tajahn Clinton, 35, who was sentenced in August to 33 years for sex trafficking testified at Alaboudi's trial this week. Authorities say other pimps would bring girls to Alaboudi's home.

"His role was he supplied the home. He supplied the home where so much of this took place. He supplied the home where so many of these girls were victimized; where they were terrorized," Johnson said.

Johnson says the ‘house of horrors’ is now shut down and along with other recent sex trafficking arrests and convictions he says authorities are making a dent in the underground sex trade in Sioux Falls.

"This whole sex trafficking industry in Sioux Falls has operated in the shadows for many years and what we're trying to do now is dig it out, eliminate it, and be very aggressive when it tries to come back," Johnson said.

Johnson says this case serves as reminder that if young, homeless, and addicted teen girls fall through the cracks in South Dakota there are men out there who will prey upon them.

Alaboudi faces a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life. He will be sentenced in March.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Added Brendan Johnson's first name and title to the story.

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