Two Long Beach, California, men pleaded guilty today to conspiracy charges arising from a sex trafficking scheme that exploited adult women for prostitution. Roshaun Nakia Porter, 39, and Marquis Monte Horn, 35, both pleaded guilty before Judge Josephine L. Staton in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to conspiring to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. Sentencing has been set for Oct. 24, 2014, and each defendant faces a sentence of up to life imprisonment.
According to documents filed in court, from October 2009 through April 2012, Porter and Horn conspired together and with others to recruit, entice, harbor, transport and provide women to engage in commercial sex acts, using various coercive means to compel the women to engage in prostitution for the defendants’ financial benefit. Porter and Horn’s scheme of force, fraud and coercion included false and deceptive internet advertisements they used to lure the victims into romantic relationships with the defendants, and psychological manipulation and control to cause the victims to engage in commercial sex acts for the defendants’ financial benefit.
“The Department of Justice is committed to the vigorous prosecution of defendants who prey upon and exploit vulnerable individuals for their own financial gain,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We will continue to pursue justice on behalf of victims of human trafficking to restore their rights and dignity and to hold their traffickers accountable.”
“Human trafficking is a horrific crime that causes significant damage to victims who are often forced to commit unspeakable acts,” said U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. for the Central District of California. “This scheme to control and manipulate victims forced to work in the sex trade has come to an end. With today’s guilty pleas, I hope that healing for the victims can begin.”
“Sex trafficking is not something that only happens outside of the United States, but victimizes Americans in our own backyards,” said Assistant Director of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office Bill Lewis. “In this case, the defendants defrauded victims and forced them to work as sex slaves under threat to themselves and their families. I hope this conviction reminds vigilant members of the public to report the signs of human and sex trafficking to law enforcement when they encounter it.”
This matter was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandy Leal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and Trial Attorney Daniel H. Weiss of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.