Former Hartford Resident Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Trafficking Offense
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 04, 2013|
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Bruce Damico, 35, formerly residing in Hartford; Providence, Rhode Island; and Queens, New York, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of sex trafficking of a minor.
“The federal penalties for the sex trafficking of minors are appropriately severe, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting these crimes and seeking lengthy sentences,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “I commend the FBI and Bloomfield Police for the coordinated effort that has brought this defendant to justice.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, Damico recruited, harbored, and transported women and girls to engage in prostitution. As a part of his prostitution business, Damico posted Internet advertisements offering the women and girls for commercial sex acts, and Damico was paid by each woman and girl $100 per day for maintaining the advertisements. Damico booked hotel rooms where the women and girls would engage in commercial sex acts, and he transported, or arranged the transportation of, the women and girls to prostitution appointments.
In pleading guilty, Damico admitted that between June 2009 and January 2010, his prostitution enterprise knowingly employed a girl who was under the age of 18. Damico posted pictures of the minor victim on the Internet to advertise her prostitution services, and he and others working for him transported the minor victim between Connecticut and surrounding states to engage in prostitution.
Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for May 24, 2013, at which time Damico faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
Damico has been detained since his arrest by the Bloomfield Police on January 22, 2010.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bloomfield Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David E. Novick.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.