ATLANTA – A Georgia man was convicted of soliciting an underage victim for sex by the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
Attorney General Chris Carr announced that Daniel Horne, age 30, of Clayton County, has pleaded guilty to soliciting a 15-year-old female for sex. This is the third conviction to be obtained by the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit as part of an ongoing multi-defendant case out of Clayton County. In total, two buyers and one seller have now been sentenced to prison for trafficking the underage victim in 2018.
“When we first opened this case, our Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit pledged to bring every offender involved to justice, and this outcome brings us one step closer to fulfilling that commitment,” said Carr. “Our work is not done, and we will keep fighting to ensure that all those who engaged in the trafficking of this underage victim are held accountable for their actions. All Georgians deserve to be safe, and we will continue to use all resources at our disposal to protect our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Upon the creation of the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit in 2019, Chief Investigator Bryan Kimbell re-opened a case that had previously been closed by local jurisdictions and continued with the investigation.
This re-opened case involves the sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old female victim. During a forensic interview in 2019, the victim disclosed that she was sold for sex by Theodore Browne, Jr. and Christopher Weldon over a period of several months in 2018.
Throughout the course of the investigation, evidence further showed that the victim was sexually trafficked out of two hotels in Clayton County, where Browne and Weldon rented rooms and arranged for buyers to purchase the underage victim for sex. This investigation resulted in the arrest and indictment of both Browne and Weldon in September 2021.
Daniel Horne’s Arrest and Indictment
Following the indictment of Theodore Browne, Jr. and Christopher Weldon in September 2021, the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit continued to investigate in an effort to identify anyone who purchased the underage victim for sex. This led to the arrest of both Daniel Horne and Gregory Benoit. Specifically, Daniel Horne was arrested on June 23, 2022, in Canton, Georgia. Horne was later indicted in Clayton County on Aug. 29, 2022.
Daniel Horne’s Guilty Plea and Sentence
On Feb. 3, 2023, Horne entered a non-negotiated plea on one count of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude. The Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit recommended a sentence of 15 years, with the first four years to be served in prison. A Clayton County Superior Court Judge accepted the plea and sentenced Horne to 12 years, with the first two years to be served in prison. The remainder of his sentence will be served on strict probation. Horne is also required to register as a sex offender.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Kaitlyn (Fain) Salinas of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
Prior Convictions of Other Defendants
Daniel Horne’s is the third conviction to be obtained by the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit as part of this ongoing multi-defendant case.
On Aug. 26, 2022, Gregory Benoit pleaded guilty to one count of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude. Benoit was sentenced to 15 years, with the first five years to be served in prison. This marked the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit’s first conviction of a buyer – someone who purchases a victim for sex.
On July 25, 2022, Christopher Weldon pleaded guilty to one count each of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude and Statutory Rape. Weldon was sentenced to 25 years, with the first 15 years to be served in prison.
The State’s case against Theodore Browne, Jr. remains active and ongoing.
About the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit
In 2019, with the support of Governor Brian Kemp, Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp and leaders in the Georgia General Assembly, Attorney General Chris Carr created the first-of-its-kind statewide Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
As of today, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit has 46 defendants who are currently under indictment for sex or labor trafficking, with some facing charges in multiple jurisdictions around the state.
In 2022, the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit obtained six new convictions, led and assisted 33 case investigations, and rescued and assisted 116 victims.
During the 2022 legislative session, Carr secured additional resources to expand the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit and rescue even more victims.