An individual named Ian Justin Ranney, residing in California, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison. His conviction stems from an incident where he traveled to Texas with the intention of torturing a young woman involved in human trafficking, coercing her into engaging in sex work.

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Who is Ian Ranney?

Ian Ranney, aged 35, responded to an advertisement placed by a federal agent in Dallas, who was posing as a human trafficker seeking an “experienced sadist.” The offer included a payment of $6,000 to “break” a young woman.

In November, Ranney was apprehended outside a North Texas warehouse, where he was found in possession of tools associated with torture, including restraints, rope, and batons. In February, he pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping and possession of child pornography.

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Ranney’s sinister plan involved binding and waterboarding a 21-year-old woman over the course of four days. He intended to subject her to complete sensory deprivation while applying a chemical irritant to her genitals.

According to a criminal complaint, Ranney revealed to agents that he specialized in “objectification and degradation” and had previously “psychologically destroyed a few girls.” He boasted about his ability to “break” anyone.

On social media, Ranney portrayed a lavish lifestyle that included travel and fine dining. He showcased his Tesla, vaccine card, and voting records on Facebook, and his Instagram profile indicated a passion for wine and excellent service.

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The agent who posted the initial ad claimed to be in need of someone to “train” a woman who was no longer willing to work for him. The agent purported to operate a human trafficking organization catering to a high-end clientele and had acquired the woman from another trafficker. Ranney agreed to the challenge, expressing his interest in working with the victim in an isolated warehouse for four days at a rate of $1,500 per day.

While Ranney engaged in consensual BDSM activities, prosecutors emphasized that the ad he responded to was not related to role-playing or fantasy but was an actual criminal endeavor. Additionally, explicit photos of a 14-year-old girl were discovered on his phone, which he admitted to receiving through Snapchat.

Three other men who responded to similar advertisements and traveled to Texas have also been sentenced to prison. Before his arrest, Ranney worked as a trained sommelier, offering advice to upscale restaurants on their wine selections, and his last known employment was at Taurus Steakhouse in San Carlos.

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During the sentencing, Ranney’s lawyer cited his client’s difficulty in connecting with people and noted that mere apologies seemed insufficient. The judge, Terry Means, recommended a prison with “mental challenges” for Ranney due to his IQ to prevent him from being merely “warehoused.”