Two Springfield residents were sentenced Wednesday for sexually exploiting and trafficking a 15-year-old girl. 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Joseph W. Gibson, 43, and Danna Marie Rodriguez, 37, arranged for the girl to have sex with a man at a Springfield hotel. Prior to the encounter, Rodriguez took explicit photos of the victim and shared them with Gibson, and the two adults gave the victim ecstasy and marijuana before she met the man who paid to have sex with her. The victim was paid $70, while Gibson and Rodriguez kept the rest of the man’s payment, according to the release. 

The release states that the two tried to get the underage victim to recruit her friends to join her. They refused to participate. 

Gibson and Rodriguez each admitted to trafficking the girl, according to the release. U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes sentenced Gibson to 30 years and Rodriguez to 20 years after they each were convicted of one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, and one count of sex trafficking of a minor.

The case was investigated by a collection of local, regional and federal agencies, including Homeland Security Investigations, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Springfield Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

Cory Matteson

Cory Matteson moved to Springfield in 2022 to join the team of Daily Citizen journalists and staff eager to launch a local news nonprofit. He returned to the Show-Me State nearly two decades after graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Prior to arriving in Springfield, he worked as a reporter at the Lincoln Journal Star and Casper Star-Tribune. More by Cory Matteson