Former owner of Club Magic in Lawrence pleads guilty to operating interstate sex-trafficking business

TOPEKA – A Topeka man who owned a Lawrence nightclub has pleaded guilty to a federal sex trafficking charge, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said Monday in a news release.

The man, Frank Boswell, 43, pleaded guilty July 21 to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. Boswell is the former owner of the now-closed Club Magic, which was at 804 W. 24th St.

In his plea, Boswell admitted that he and co-defendants employed female commercial sex workers who served clients in Kansas and other states. Boswell used the Internet, cellphones, texting and social media to keep in touch with conspirators, track the movements of sex workers and advertise sexual services, according to the news release.

Boswell’s organization, according to the news release, looked for women who needed money and a place to live. They targeted single mothers and women with drug problems. The conspirators used drugs well as the threat of violence to make the women compliant. The women turned the money they made over to Boswell, and he paid for their rent, utilities and cellphones.

His sentencing is set for Oct. 23. Both parties have agreed to recommend a sentence of 51 to 63 months in federal prison.

Sean Hall, 46, who was the manager of Club Magic, pleaded guilty in June 2016 to a single count of conspiracy, admitting that he worked with others to operate a prostitution business. He is awaiting sentencing.

As many as 20 prostitutes were working for the organization at any given time, according to the U.S Attorney’s Office, and the business operated in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas.

Other co-defendants include Barry M. Johnson, who was sentenced to 46 months; Michaela Hekekia, who is awaiting sentencing; Shannon Nelson, who is awaiting sentencing; and Rachel Flenniken, who is awaiting sentencing.