Skip to main content

‘A world most people don’t know exists’: Judge shocked by depravity of man sentenced for sex trafficking girl who was down on her luck and producing child pornography

 
Rolando Midder appears in a booking photo from June 2022

Rolando Midder appears in a booking photo from June 2022. (Douglas County)

A Nebraska man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for sex trafficking a child and concomitant production of child pornography.

Rolando E. Midder, 44, was sentenced to life in federal prison late last week on one count of sex trafficking minors by use of fraud, force, and coercion by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Robert F. Rossiter Jr., according to federal court records. The defendant was also sentenced to 30 years apiece on two counts of sexual exploitation of children – with credit for time served; those additional sentences were assessed to run concurrently, or at the same time, as his life sentence.

He faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.

The court meted out the statutory maximum to the convicted child rapist on every count against him, however, with Rossiter remarking that “egregious is too kind a word” to describe Midder’s conduct, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska said.

“The sentence in this case fits the horrendous actions this individual perpetrated on the victim,” acting U.S. Attorney Susan Lehr said.

During the trial, evidence showed that Midder invited a homeless girl to stay with him beginning in February 2022. Soon after she accepted his offer, he began advertising the girl as being able to purchase for sex. Midder would then communicate with men who were interested in those online posts. He then coordinated the days, times, and locations during which the commercial sex acts occurred.

Court documents in the case obtained by Omaha-based NBC affiliate WOWT show that an FBI special agent was perusing a sex-purchasing website when they recognized one of the women posting there as a 16-year-old girl and arranged a sting date. Working with local police, the girl was rescued on June 27, 2022.

“After being recovered by law enforcement, the minor female was observed to be extremely malnourished and had numerous bruises, burns, and scars on her,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release. “She expressed fear that Midder would kill her if he learned she had spoken with law enforcement. Upon Midder’s arrest, a search warrant for his phone was obtained. Law enforcement located videos he had filmed, showing himself forcing the minor to engage in a sex act with him.”

Hours later, Midder was arrested at a hotel – posting sex-selling advertisements up to the day he was taken into custody.

The defendant was found guilty by jurors after a four-day trial at the beginning of June. During his sentencing hearing, he addressed the court and said he had a history of “helping people.”

The judge waved away that claim of good character, saying his offers to help people were “the first step in taking advantage of them.”

The judge described the sex trafficking the defendant committed against the child as “a world most people don’t know exists.”

Throughout the investigation, local citizens of Omaha helped identify key individuals involved, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“Rolando Midder physically and sexually abused a minor to traffic her for commercial sex,” FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel said after the sentencing. “Victims of this heinous crime feel trapped, unable to escape to freedom. Midder’s sentence today has taken away his freedom and his ability to hurt anyone again. The FBI will continue to work closely with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners on the front lines to bring human traffickers to justice.”

Join the discussion 

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: