Fort Smith Man Indicted On Human Trafficking Charges

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A Fort Smith man accused of forcing a 16-year-old girl into prostitution has been indicted on federal human trafficking charges.

Kenyan Roane, 31, faces one count of trafficking children for sex and two counts of enticing a minor for sex, according to an indictment unsealed Jan. 23 in U.S. District Court.

Authorities learned about Roane during an interview with the victim at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County, where she said Roane had forced her to “prostitute for money” at hotels in Fayetteville, Fort Smith and Jonesboro, according to court documents.

She said Roane kidnapped her and set up clients by posting nude photos of her to the Internet. She added that he had control of her finances and electronics, including her cell phone.

Roane, who also goes by “Kordai Youngpayme Arnold”, was arrested after a sting operation by the River Valley Child Exploitation Task Force.

An investigator went undercover as a 16-year-old girl to contact Roane through a phone number he provided. During the call, police recorded Roane allegedly saying he was “a pimp” who “promotes females,” according to court documents.

Roane went on to say that he would pocket the girl’s earnings to take care of her.

The investigator continued to contact Roane through January, eventually setting up a plan to meet at a gas station in Texarkana, where he was arrested Jan. 8.

Roane is one of four Arkansas men arrested on human trafficking charges in the last six months.

Two other River Valley men — Aaron Hayes and Malcolm Ford — were arrested in December 2017 for allegedly trafficking juveniles for prostitution in Arkansas and Louisiana.

In August 2017, Lee Hall of Alma was arrested after a woman said Hall kidnapped her in Little Rock and forced her into prostitution in Northwest Arkansas.

Roane was being held without bond Tuesday (Jan. 30) at the Washington County Detention Center. His arraignment hearing has not been set.