LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An east Arkansas man will spend life in prison after being sentenced in federal court Wednesday.

The Eastern District of Arkansas Office of the United States Attorney said 34-year-old Mario Walters, of Palestine, Arkansas, was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to commit human trafficking of a 6-year-old in 2018. The crime came to light after the girl was brought to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in February of that year suffering from what turned out to be several sexually transmitted diseases.

An FBI forensic investigator interviewed the girl, who described two men, one of whom was Walters, who had raped her in a motel room. The child said Walters would enter the room while she was with 28-year-old DeShawn George, rape her, and give George money.

Investigators found the motel room and discovered that the child’s mother had rented the room. Authorities said the child had been removed from her mother’s custody.

Walters and George were tested and found to have the sexually transmitted disease that infected the girl. Both were indicted in 2019 and pleaded guilty in 2021.

Both Walters and George admitted in court that they had sex with the girl and had trafficked her with others.

George, of Little Rock, was given a life sentence in the Eastern District court in October 2022.

The federal prison system has no parole.