According to a press release from the Montana Department of Justice, a Nevada woman who admitted to transporting a minor to Montana to engage in prostitution in the spring of 2021 has been sentenced to 8 years in prison. This is to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. The woman has also been ordered to pay restitution for damages.

A Horror Story for Any Teen

The incident occurred in April of 2021 when Ashley Michael Stella brought a 16-year-old girl from Nevada to a Billings motel. Court documents indicate that law enforcement was alerted to the motel by a caller suspicious of illicit activity and found Stella, the 16-year-old, and another unidentified individual who was not underage.

After the incident, the 16-year-old was interviewed by police, in which she stated that Stella had asked her to go on the trip to Montana beforehand. The girl had met Stella in 2020, but Stella was unaware of her age until later that year. It was also revealed that Stella and the girl had both participated in commercial sex before and the express purpose of the trip to Montana was for commercial sex.

Stella Admitted and Plead Guilty to the Crime in December 2021

Stella was sentenced to 8 years in prison by United States District Judge Susan P. Watters. She is also sentenced to pay $2,500 in restitution as a result of the incident. After the prison sentence, Stella is to serve 5 years of supervised release.

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For the full press release, visit the Montana Department of Justice website here. If you know anyone who may be going through human trafficking, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline, or call local law enforcement.

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