Pennsylvania Man Charged with Running a Prostitution Business
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 20, 2014|
NEWARK, NJ—An Allentown, Pennsylvania man previously charged with sex trafficking of a minor was indicted today on additional charges of conspiracy to use an interstate facility in aid of prostitution business, transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution, coercion and enticement to engage in prostitution, and obstruction, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
The 10-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury against Francisco Torrellas, a/k/a “Francisco Fordham, Jr.,” “Dream,” “Daddy,” and “Pretty,” includes one count of conspiracy in connection with the defendant’s operation of a prostitution business; five counts of violating the Travel Act, i.e., using an interstate facility to carry on his prostitution business; one count of transporting a minor to engage in prostitution; one count of coercion and enticement to engage in prostitution; and one count of obstruction of justice. The original count of sex trafficking of a minor on which the defendant was indicted on June 27, 2012, remains in place.
According to the superseding indictment and other documents filed in court:
From November 2010 to February 2013, Torrellas allegedly conspired with others to operate a prostitution business in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. Torrellas managed the business, traveled, and caused prostitute employees, including a minor, to travel interstate for the purpose of engaging in sex acts in exchange for money.
Torrellas used the Internet to post advertisements for sexual services on the website Backpage.com. Torrellas also developed rules for the prostitutes, booked hotel rooms, and, while incarcerated, used the phone to manage, promote, and carry on his prostitution business, specifically causing his conspirators and others to direct the proceeds of the business to his commissary account at the Essex County Correctional Facility. Torrellas also attempted to influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of another person or persons in connection with the case against him.
The conspiracy count carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. The Travel Act counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. The counts relating to trafficking and transportation of a minor carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The count relating to coercion and enticement to engage in prostitution carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and the count charging obstruction of justice carries the maximum term that could have been imposed for the offenses charged. The defendant also faces a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of the gain or loss from the offense for each count of conviction.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; and the Secaucus, Jersey City, and the Allentown, Pennsylvania Police Departments with the investigation leading to today’s superseding indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Danielle Corcione and Jenny Kramer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.