Port Huron man sentenced for forcing girl to have sex for money in Oakland, Macomb county hotels

Joseph McGough pleads guilty to human trafficking

Joseph McGough (WDIV)

PORT HURON, Mich. – A Port Huron man was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in the human trafficking of a girl in Oakland and Macomb counties, according to officials.

Joseph McGough, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of human trafficking -- forced labor resulting in commercial sex.

A girl told officials that McGough was trafficking her out of hotels in Macomb and Oakland counties between April and September 2017, according to police. She was a minor when she came forward, officials said.

She told police that she and her friend were recruited and encouraged to engage in commercial sex by McGough and his friend, Robert Standfield.

McGough took the girl from her hometown to Metro Detroit, where he and Standfield used hotels for her to engage in commercial sex, according to authorities.

McGough showed the girl how to use Backpage and told her to post in the message section under a pseudonym, police said. He also took all the earnings she made, officials said.

She told police she had to go on multiple "dates" per day.

Standfield is accused of taking over McGough's role in the operation when McGough was out of town, police said.

"Human trafficking is a serious crime that, unfortunately, happens every day here in Michigan,” Attorney General Bill Schuette said. "I want to thank AAG Carter for her work on this case and the commitment to fighting this form of modern-day slavery."

McGough was sentenced to 47 1/2 months to 15 years in prison, with credit for 343 days.

Standfield is set to go to trial in February.

Warren police initiated the investigation into McGough and Standfield, and the FBI-led Macomb County Child Exploitation Task Force helped with the case after the girl came forward.

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