December 12, 2017
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced his Human Trafficking Unit has charged Joseph McGough and Robert Standfield with multiple felonies for the sex trafficking of a minor victim.
“Individuals who exploit vulnerable minors are some of the worst criminals we see,” said Schuette. “These charges take two more of these alleged predators off the street and demonstrates the team work and commitment of law enforcement at state, local and federals levels. This is an example of how the crime of sex trafficking is being tackled in Michigan. I look forward to continuing this partnership as we continue to confront this crime.”
"The charges filed by the state's Human Trafficking Unit against these subjects for the shameful commercial sexual exploitation of minors soundly demonstrates how the FBI-led Macomb County Child Exploitation Task Force can and will continue to partner with the Attorney General's Office to protect vulnerable youth against sexual predators", said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI.
"The investigation and prosecution of anyone who commits such heinous crimes against children will always remain one of the FBI's top priorities.”
The defendants were charged with the following:
Joseph McGough, 23, Port Huron:
Robert Standfield, 23, Port Huron:
McGough was arrested and arraigned in late November in the 37th District Court in Warren. His bond was set at $300,000.00 cash/surety. McGough is currently incarcerated in the Macomb County Jail and his next court appearance is scheduled for December 14, 2017.
Standfield was arrested and arraigned on Friday December 8, 2017 in the 37th District Court in Warren. His bond was set at $100,000 cash/surety. He’s due in court on December 21, 2017 for a probable cause conference and December 28, 2017 for a preliminary exam.
An investigation into the actions of McGough and Standfield was initiated by the Warren Police Department and conducted with the help of the FBI-led Macomb County Child Exploitation Task Force after their alleged victim came forward in September 2017. The Task Force consists of FBI, Warren PD, Macomb County Sheriffs Office, and Centerline PSD. The girl who is a minor alleged that McGough was trafficking her out of hotels in Macomb and Oakland County between April and September 2017.
The victim alleged that her and her friend were recruited and encouraged to engage in commercial sex by McGough and his friend Robert Standfield. McGough then took the victim from her hometown to the metro Detroit area where they stayed in hotels for her to engage in commercial sex.
McGough showed his victim how to use Backpage and allegedly instructed her to post in the “massage” section under a pseudonym. McGough also allegedly took all earnings his victim made from performing commercial sex. His victim alleged she had to go on multiple “dates” a day.
McGough’s friend Standfield allegedly took over McGough’s role in the operation during a period of time when McGough was out of town.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.