KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Federal prosecutors on Monday unsealed an indictment against a man and woman accused of training the woman's child to be a dominatrix, selling her services and photographing some of the acts.
U.S. Attorney John Wood said the case is the first in which a parent of the victim has been charged with the commercial sex trafficking of his or her own minor child.
Todd B. Barkau, 35, of New York, and the 44-year-old mother were charged in the seven-count indictment. Both used to live in Blue Springs, Mo. in the same household.
From Jan. 1, 2002, until Feb. 20, 2005, Barkau created a venture to entice the minor to engage in commercial sex acts, according to the indictment.
"The court filings allege that Barkau obtained control of a 12-year-old girl and he groomed, trained and forced her to become a sexual dominatrix," Wood said at a news conference in Kansas City on Monday.
Barkau was arrested near the Niagara Falls area in New York and had an initial court appearance on Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y., Wood said.
The mother was arrested on Friday in Dallas and was scheduled to have an initial court appearance Monday in federal court. The mother's name is not being published to protect the identity of the victim, who is now 20 years old.
Federal prosecutors, who had investigated the case for nearly two years, have filed a detention motion to detain both in federal custody without bond.
The indictment accused Barkau of training the girl, starting in 2000, and forcing her to engage in sex acts with him and with other men while he watched. According to the indictment, Barkau also had the girl watch pornography on the Internet to teach technique and skills.
Barkau is also accused of later creating a business out of a Blue Springs home when the girl was 14 and marketing her as a 19-to-20-year-old BDSM dominatrix on the Internet for about two years. The domain name has since been sold, Wood said.
Wood said the mother, who lived in Barkau's residence, assisted and encouraged the child to participate. She is charged with participating in a venture to entice a minor to engage in commercial sex acts and with inducing a child who was in her custody to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the production of visual depictions.
Prosecutors will also seek $80,000 the couple is accused of making through the illegal acts.