FBI arrests Portland woman on child sex-trafficking charges

Kelsey Christine Wheeler booking photo (Multnomah Co. Jail)

An ongoing federal investigation into child pornography has led to the arrest of a Portland woman on child sex trafficking charges.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court by the FBI Friday, agents and local police went to a home in Eugene last week to interview a man suspected of being a consumer of child pornography.

During the course of the interview, the man claimed that he acquired the material after responding to an ad on BackPage.com placed by a Portland woman.

The man told investigators he arranged a meeting with the woman, whom he knew as Kelly Kox, in January, adding that Kox said she could set up an “encounter” with a child he understood to be 4 or 5 years old for $1,000.

Investigators then learned the man paid a bill for Kox, which they tracked to the apartment of a Kelsey Christine Wheeler in Portland.

The court documents then state that agents, along with officers with the Portland Police Bureau, stopped at Wheeler’s apartment Thursday night to continue the investigation.

During an interview with police, Wheeler said she had worked on-and-off as a prostitute since the age of 15. She denied offering the encounter with a child, instead saying that she mentioned a price of $6,000, which she intended to simply steal from the man.

Investigators said they showed Wheeler a child protective service report from Las Vegas that claimed she was found in a hotel room with a man and a child in “minimal clothing.” Wheeler denied that the incident happened, saying it was a simply people acting “vengeful” toward her.

Wheeler was arrested Friday on the charge of sex trafficking of a child and was booked into the Multnomah County Jail.

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