Chicago man sees state’s longest sentence in state for sex trafficking

Arteco Marvel Rhodes

Arteco Marvel Rhodes, 38, of Chicago, Ill., was sentenced to 26 1/2 years for selling a 15-year-old girl for sex in St. Paul.

Ramsey County Judge Salvador Rosas sentenced him on Friday, Dec. 13.

The sentence is believed to be the longest penalty to date in Minnesota for sex trafficking, according to the Ramsey County attorney’s office.

Rhodes will serve consecutive sentences of 300 months for the sex trafficking charge, and 15 months for child pornography possession. In addition, he will be registered as a predatory offender for 10 years.

“Today’s historic sentence happened because of our community’s resolve that children who are prostituted are victims of crime, and that we should do everything in our power to help them,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi in a statement.

According to a complaint from the attorney’s office, Rhodes, known on the streets of Chicago as “Taboo,” brought the 15-year-old girl from Chicago to Minnesota to sell her for sex in April 2013.

He brought her and a 19-year-old woman to a Motel 6 in Roseville where Rhodes took naked pictures of the 15-year-old, according to a statement from Choi’s office.

From there, Rhodes placed an ad on and arranged for a man to have sex with her for $85, which he kept.

A few days later, on April 9, Rhodes wanted the 15-year-old to have sex for money with a man at his cousin’s house, the complaint states. The girl refused.

According to Choi, when other females learned that the victim was only 15-years-old, they confronted Rhodes.

Following that, Rhodes drove the victim to a secluded dead-end street in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood, near the intersection of East Seventh Street and Maria Avenue.

There, he beat the 15-year-old victim for hours with a baseball bat. He threatened to kill her and choked her until she was unconscious, according to the complaint.

The victim was then brought to a house and left there. Finding an opportunity, the girl sneaked out and walked the streets looking for help. She was taken to Regions Hospital where she received medical attention and provided statements to police.

Choi attributed the long sentence for Rhodes to the county’s victim-centered approach.

“Through our community’s victim-centered response, sex trafficking victims develop the courage to tell their story because they know we are behind them,” he said in a statement. “With the help of everyone involved, including St. Paul Police, Breaking Free and the dedicated staff in my office, a 15-year-old child’s testimony made this conviction and sentence possible.”

Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or at, or follow on Twitter at @ESRPatrickLark.

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