A Texas woman was sentenced last week to 40 years in prison for trying to sell her 2-year-old daughter for sex.
Sarah Marie Peters, 25, of Houston, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted human trafficking, promotion of prostitution of a child and sexual performance of a child, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. She received a 40-year sentence on the sexual performance charge and 20-year sentences on each of the two other charges.
All three charges are to run concurrently, a news release from the district attorney’s office said. Peters will not be eligible for parole until 2038.
The Houston Chronicle reported that court documents said the investigation, completed by the Montgomery County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, began when a detective on the task force received information about a woman who was “into incest.” The detective made contact with the woman, later identified as Peters, through a social media website.
Investigators said that Peters sent the undercover investigator inappropriate photos of naked young girls and, according to court documents, sent a message to the detective asking, “Know of any guys that would pay to have fun with (her daughter)?”
“The detective advised they would pay $1,200 for Peters to travel to Conroe with the child for an alleged sexual encounter,” Peters’ arrest report said, according to the Chronicle.
Task force members followed her Feb. 22 to the Greyhound bus station in Houston, where they watched her get onto a bus with her daughter, the newspaper reported. They tailed the bus to Conroe, where Peters and her daughter got off the bus.
Peters was arrested, and her daughter was placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.
“The events of this case are hard to believe -- that a mom would willingly expose her own daughter to this type of danger,” Tyler Dunman, chief of the district attorney’s Special Crimes Bureau, said in a statement.
Without the proactive work of the task force investigators, the child “would have become a victim (of) the worst type of abuse,” Dunman said.
He urged members of the community to be vigilant and report to police any activity they see or hear about that could put a child in danger of sexual abuse or exploitation.
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