Upland Mother Found Guilty in Child Prostitution Case
An Upland mother has been found guilty in Franklin County court after making a plea deal in a child prostitution case.
Michelle Randall, 35, originally pleaded 'not guilty' in September to nine felony counts -- including five counts of visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct by a minor, two counts of human trafficking and two counts of child abuse -- but changed her plea to 'no contest' Thursday to avoid possible federal charges and additional charges in four other counties where the crimes occurred.
Randall's attorney says the plea deal was the best possible option for her client.
"The reason really that she decided to enter into this agreement is that it resolved all of those [possible charges] all in one fell swoop essentially, rather than potentially having trials in five different counties, as well as federal court," attorney Tana Fye said.
Randall is accused of selling her 14- and 7-year-old daughters into prostitution on Craigslist last May. Police say she placed a personal ad on the website, offering female companionship in the Kearney area, then offered the sexual services of her teen daughter to an undercover officer posing as a man answering the ad.
Police also say she arranged for multiple men to have sex with her 7-year-old daughter on several occasions.
Five men have also been charged for allegedly having sex with the young girls. Logan Roepke, 22, of McCook; Donald Grafe, 37, of Columbus; Shad Chandler, 41, and Brian McCarthy, 33, both of Lincoln; and 28–year–old Alex Rahe, of Omaha, are each charged with first–degree sexual assault of a child.
As for Randall, the mother of four has had three of her children taken away from her and placed in protective custody.
"Her children have been placed in foster care, and so they're in foster homes here in Nebraska right now," Fye said.
Randall faces anywhere from 17 years to life in prison. She's set to be sentenced Feb. 7.