Sailor accused of sex trafficking of minor

By Vic Micolucci, General assignment reporter, vic@wjxt.com
Published On: Apr 25 2014 03:16:52 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 25 2014 09:21:21 PM EDT

A local sailor was indicted for sex trafficking of a minor. A federal grand jury charged Shanen Reyling with that crime, and with racketeering. This mug shot comes from a previous arrest, on state prostitution charges.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A Navy sailor has been indicted on charges of sex trafficking of a minor and racketeering following an FBI investigation.

Shanen Reyling, 21, who's been arrested before on state prostitution charges, is currently on deployment, according to sources.

Reyling is from Illinois, but federal agents believe he lived in Jacksonville when the crimes were committed.

According to the indictment, for a few weeks in September 2012, Reyling "did knowingly recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain and maintain" an underage girl and caused her "to engage in a commercial sex act" in Jacksonville.

He's accused of running a "business enterprise involving prostitution" with a girl younger than 18 and then lying to FBI agents about it.

Reyling's has not been arrested yet on the federal charges. A government source said he's deployed on a Navy ship right now but will likely be arrested soon.

"There is protocol in place for when this type of thing happens," said attorney William Kurtz, who's not involved in the case.

Kurtz, who spent years in the Navy as an officer, said Reyling may be allowed to continue working on the ship until he's arrested, or he may be put into confinement. It depends.

"The captain will cooperate, and likely what will happen is he will pull into a port somewhere and he will be turned over to someone to be brought back to the states," Kurtz said.

Robert Natter, a retired Navy admiral, said having a sailor overseas and facing such serious charges is rare.

"It is definitely not a regular experience," he said. "In fact, in my 41 years in the Navy, I never experienced it on any ship or unit that I had command of. But the Navy knows how to deal with it and will cooperate with both local and federal officials."

If convicted, Reyling faces 15 years to life in federal prison. Court records show the state prostitution charges were dropped a few weeks after his 2012 arrest.

A spokesman for the Navy said officials are looking into the case.

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