A 54-year-old Wichita man this week was charged with aggravated human trafficking and three counts of commercial sexual exploitation of a child.
A complaint filed in Sedgwick County District Court accuses Shailesh D. Bhakta of trafficking a 16-year-old between Oct. 26 and Nov. 7, then offering or receiving sex acts from the teen in exchange for valuables. He is also accused in the documents of allowing property he had an interest in to be used to sell sex acts with the 16-year-old during that same nearly two-week stretch.
Bhakta made his first appearance in court Tuesday on the charges. He is free on $100,000 bond and is due back in court for a preliminary hearing March 25.
Authorities arrested Bhakta on Feb. 20 in downtown Wichita on suspicion of aggravated human trafficking, patronizing a prostitute and promoting prostitution, jail booking records show.
One of the state’s witnesses listed on his charging document, Ida Bennett, is also facing human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of a child charges in Sedgwick County District Court. The victims listed in her and Bhatka’s criminal complaints are the same age and have the same initials. Bennett, 25, is scheduled for jury trial April 21.