LIMA — A woman who allowed her children to be used in sex trafficking activities faces up to 129 years in prison when she is sentenced next month in Allen County Common Pleas Court.
Crystal Kindle, 39, in court Friday morning for a mostly routine status conference, surprisingly agreed to a negotiated plea settlement offered by prosecutors. After more than an hour of last-minute talks behind closed doors, Kindle’s defense attorneys and prosecutors reached a settlement that called for the woman to plead guilty to 10 counts — including complicity to attempted rate, compelling prostitution, illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and trafficking in persons for hire — in exchange for the state’s dismissal of all remaining charges.
Two of the counts include specifications that tie the charges to human trafficking, as defined by the Ohio Revised Code.
Judge David Cheney ordered a pre-sentence investigation set a sentencing date for Kindle of March 28. The least amount of prison time Kindle could receive is 10 years behind bars — a state-mandated minimum for the trafficking of persons-commercial sex acts for hire charge. She also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison on each of 10 counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and a 5-year minimum sentence on each of two charges of compelling prostitution with the human trafficking specification. The sentences could be ordered served consecutively.
She also faces fines of up to $225,000.
Kindle was indicted nearly a year ago on three counts of attempted rape, four counts of gross sexual imposition, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, four counts of compelling prostitution with human trafficking specification, four counts of promoting prostitution with human trafficking specification, six counts of endangering children with human trafficking specification, 19 counts of illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance with human trafficking specification, and four counts of trafficking in persons-commercial sex acts.
30-year sentence already handed down
Kindle’s case is linked to the crimes committed by Ronald Payne, who was sentenced in December 2016 to 30 years in prison on numerous sex charges related to crimes against children between Jan. 1, 2014, and Jan. 27, 2015. One of the victims was a 12-year-old girl and the other was a 15-year-old girl.
Officials said the crimes began with Kindle giving Payne photos of one of the victims, her daughter, in exchange for money. It progressed to the 12-year-old going to Payne’s home. Payne then sexually assaulted the girl, according to court documents. He did the same to the 15-year-old, telling her if she didn’t want her younger sister to be subjected to him, the older child could take her place.
Prosecutors during previous court hearings said Kindle used the money to fund her drug habit.