Courts & Crime

Couple pleads guilty to marketing 12-year-old as dominatrix

KANSAS CITY — A former area woman and the man she lived with in Blue Springs, Mo., pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to the sex trafficking of the woman’s daughter.

Todd Barkau, 37, started training the daughter at age 12 to be a dominatrix and engage in sado-masochistic sex acts. He pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to commercial sex trafficking of a minor. He will be sentenced to 25 years in prison as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The girl's 45-year-old mother pleaded guilty to the same charge. Her plea agreement calls for a 15-year sentence.

The Star is not naming her to protect the identity of her daughter. The mother was the first parent in the United States to be charged with the commercial sex trafficking of their child in a human trafficking case, prosecutors said at the time charges were filed last year

The couple formerly lived in Blue Springs, a Kansas City suburb.

When the girl was 12, Barkau began training her to engage in acts of sexual bondage, domination, sadism and masochism with him and others, according to prosecutors. When the victim was 14, Barkau set up an online business, marketing her as Mistress Alisha in both online and in-person sexual encounters.

The girl’s mother assisted in the business and received financial compensation, prosecutors said.

The victim, who is now 22, attended the plea hearings and told the judge that she approved of the plea agreements.

Barkau and the woman will be sentenced after pre-sentence investigations are completed.