Attorney for Army officer charged with sex trafficking speaks
Lt. Col. Raymond Valas arrested following sex trafficking sting bust
The attorney for a high-ranking military official charged for allegedly traveling to San Antonio to have sex with a minor is speaking out about his client.
Army Lt. Col. Raymond Valas could soon be in the Alamo City after being arrested in central New York.
A sex trafficking ring bust last August netted three arrests locally, but last week added Valas.
Valas was arrested in Syracuse, New York, on May 19 and charged with traveling to San Antonio to have paid sex with an underage girl.
It's news his attorney, John Convery, said has everyone in shock.
"My phone has been ringing off the hook with colleagues from both the military and outside the military who are very supportive of him and are shocked at these charges," said Convery.
Convery, who has not spoken with Valas since his arrest, said he believes Valas was in San Antonio last August for work in his role as a U.S. Army fellow at the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism.
"I think that he was working on a thesis, a paper that he was doing as a fellow," said Convery.
Valas is allegedly a customer who responded to a Backpage.com ad featuring the victim as an escort. The site is known as a prostitution advertising forum.
According to an affidavit, the teen told investigators she was beaten, sexually assaulted and forced into prostitution by Marcus Deshawn Wright.
Wright was arrested last year along with Malcolm Copeland and Amber Doak.
Valas is still in New York but is expected to transported to San Antonio soon.
Doak pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of children in March and faces between 10 years to life in prison. She will be sentenced on Sept. 12.
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