Federal prosecutors have secured their first conviction in the brutal case of a 16-year-old Chicago girl who was murdered on Christmas Eve in 2016. On Tuesday, Charles McFee, 26, admitted to a judge that he delivered Desiree Robinson to an alleged pimp for a “finder’s fee” of $250 in December of that year.
Within a month, Desiree would be found dead in a garage in a Southwestern Chicago suburb—her body beaten, her throat slit.
As the Chicago Sun-Times reports, McFee confessed to handing over Desiree, who had run away from her grandparents’ home in November 2016, to an alleged pimp, John Hazley. Officials say that Hazley put up ads for Desiree on Backpage.com, a classified-ad site that, at the time, had an “adult” section where services for escorts and sex workers were frequently advertised. Hazley arranged for Desiree to go on multiple dates a day, the Sun-Times notes, bought her clothing, drove her to her appointments and acted as security for the 16-year-old.
It was Hazley who sold Desiree to Antonio Rosales, the man accused of killing her. Officials say that after dropping her off with Rosales, Hazley and his girlfriend slept in his car while the girl was murdered.
Rosales has been charged in state court with Desiree’s murder, while charges are still pending against Hazley. With McFee’s confession—and his expected testimony against Hazley, once federal charges are brought—he will likely face six to eight years for his part in Desiree’s death.
Meanwhile, the teen’s mother, Yvonne Ambrose, is suing Backpage.com and testified before the U.S. Senate last year in support of a bill that would combat online sex trafficking. Despite facing stiff opposition from Silicon Valley, the bill passed the Senate 97-2 in March. It awaits President Donald Trump’s signature.
Among the most chilling details revealed at McFee’s trial were his final messages sent to Desiree, which were sent via Facebook.
“Just don’t forget who yo daddy is n change up on me or start acting funny toward me cuz u joining his team don’t mean you nun u still mine don’t every forget that we n this together right baby girl,” McFee told the girl.