Child prostitution trial involving Columbus man continues - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Child prostitution trial involving Columbus man continues

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By: Jenn Schanz

After allegedly being exploited for sex since she was 12, the now 16–year–old told her story in a Lincoln courtroom this week.

In March 2012 at 14, she allegedly had sex with 39–year–old Donald Grafe of Columbus.

He's accused of paying for sex with her and her mother in the sleeper cab of his semi at a truck stop on West O just off I–180.

Her mother, who used Craigslist to lure clients, was busted in April 2012 when a state trooper posed as a customer.

Through phone records, police say they connected her to Grafe.

Grafe's attorney says he never had sex with the girl, despite being pointed out by her in court.

His attorney was also quick to mention some of the victim's inconsistencies in her earlier depositions.

According to police records, the girl denied knowing Grafe at the time of her mother's arrest back in April.

In court, she admitted she had known him.

She said at the time, she had other things on her mind.

In court, the victim said she felt pressure from her mother not to go to authorities, even using the word blackmail.

Her mother was also in court.

When asked how and why she got her daughter involved in the Craigslist posting for johns, she said "Honestly, I don't know, it never should have happened."

The victim's mother is already serving up to 120 years for her crimes. If convicted of sexual assault of a child, Grafe faces 15 years to life behind bars.

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