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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) –Her sentence could have been eight years after she entered a plea deal in March.

But on Friday, Superior Court Judge David Zent noted that Brooke Thompson was remorseful, accepted responsibility for her role in a child sex trafficking ring from January 2019 through April 2020 and agreed to testify against the two other people involved.

One of those is her son, Caleb Thompson, now 24, whose sentence was delayed Thursday as his attorney, Ryan Gardner, works to have him sentenced to community corrections rather than prison.

There was no such luck for Brooke even though her defense attorney, Marcia Linsky, told Zent she didn’t see what purpose incarceration would serve.

Thompson has already served 806 days at the Allen County Jail, an experience that wore down the 42-year-old woman who filed a lawsuit against the county with claims she was denied her rightful medications and that she was ill-treated.

Her plea deal called for a cap of eight years and Zent sentenced her to seven years with an additional two years on probation. Her original charges included promotion of child sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, corrupt business influence, intimidation and prostitution.

All of those charges were dismissed except for promoting prostitution, a Level 4 felony with a sentence ranging between two and 12 years, with an advisory sentence of six years.

Those charges stemmed from accusations that Thompson, her son and another man identified as Ridge Borne set up a teenage girl to have sex with adult men for money. In at least one case, they blackmailed one of the men afterward.

Both Linsky and Thompson spoke of her struggles with mental health issues and her attempts to self-medicate.

The three initially charged with child sex-trafficking

Linsky said Thompson had a 10th grade education and that women with a lack of education will often turn to prostitution to earn money, particularly when that is paired with mental health issues.

Chief Counsel Tesa Helge noted that Thompson had a history of criminal acts including prostitution in other counties such as Marion County and that she’d failed to overcome her substance abuse problems, even with counseling.

The girl used in the trafficking scheme sat in the back of the courtroom Friday, although she didn’t speak and left right after the sentencing. She was 16 when the trafficking occurred between January 2019 and April 2020.

While legal consent is 16 in Indiana, child sex trafficking is charged when the victim is under 18 and forced to comply, Helge told WANE after the hearing.

Helge told Zent that Thompson was the ringleader of the scheme to set up the victim with adult men. In one case, however, she threatened to publicly blackmail a local businessman who enlisted the help of friends in the Vice & Narcotics Unit to put a stop to it.

Thompson said in a jail call with WANE in March that the businessman was a regular client of hers and was disappointed that he didn’t incur any charges. He hired her for sexual massages off the website skipthegames.com and allegedly slept with the girl, knowing that she was young. Her threat to the client was that she would broadcast that he slept with an underaged girl if he didn’t hand over large sums of money, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Monday, the third individual involved in the scheme, the 22-year-old Borne, will be sentenced. According to his plea deal, he had all his charges dropped, many similar to the two Thompsons.

He will be sentenced on corrupt business influence, a Level 5 felony charge and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The plea deals calls for a sentence of six years and 180 days to be served concurrently – at the same time – and that the sentence will be suspended in lieu of active adult probation.