Wichita woman accused of sex trafficking 17-year-old
The iPhone of a Wichita woman accused of child sex trafficking may contain evidence of continued involvement in sex crimes, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent said.
Kelly Lee Grounds, of Wichita, was indicted on Jan. 28 by a district court in the United States on one count of sex trafficking of a minor. After being indicted by the federal grand jury, two related charges of aggravated human trafficking filed in October in Sedgwick County District Court were dismissed by prosecutors.
Local prosecutors alleged that in September Grounds trafficked a 17-year-old who had to exchange sex for compensation.
After Grounds was arrested by police in September, she was arrested again in January. On Wednesday, an FBI agent obtained a federal search warrant for her phone, which she attempted to throw away upon arrest.
The officer wrote in the warrant request that the circumstances of the charge against Grounds led her to use a smartphone. She would use the phone to contact the child, take pictures of the underage victim, post an advertisement of the child, and communicate with potential buyers of commercial sex acts involving the child.
Investigators determined that Grounds continued to post online prostitution ads after his initial arrest in September. Between October and January, she posted 89 ads for commercial sex acts on two websites, the FBI agent wrote. The ads were aimed at other people besides herself.
After Wichita Police arrested Grounds last month, his phone displayed several notifications that appeared to detectives to be text messages from someone the police know to have engaged in prostitution, the FBI agent wrote. .
The officer said he believed the Grounds iPhone likely contained evidence of his involvement in child sex trafficking in the already indicted case. The phone could also contain evidence of ongoing sex crimes.
Data from the phone was extracted and copied on Friday, but court documents do not detail what was found.
This story was originally published February 9, 2020 12:23 pm.