Tampa Man Pleads Guilty to Coercing and Enticing Minors into Prostitution
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 27, 2014|
TAMPA—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Naba Raheem Lewis (34, Tampa) pleaded guilty last Friday to coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. Lewis faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Lewis was charged in an Information on December 13, 2013.
According to the plea agreement, on June 12, 2013, the Tampa Police Department received a 911 call in reference to a room located at the Americas Best Value Inn & Suites. While conducting this investigation, officers made contact with two 16 year-old minors and a baby. Further investigation determined that Lewis had met one of the minors on an Internet website in June 2013. Lewis had browsed the website and found the minor’s Internet profile and then utilized the information to send her a private message. Lewis informed the minor that he was reviewing her photographs online and noticed that she had a child. He told her that he knew how she could make money to help care for her child.
Lewis subsequently obtained sexually explicit photos of the minor victim and her friend. Lewis then posted an Internet advertisement listing his telephone number so that he could schedule dates for the minor victims to meet men and have sex with them in exchange for money. To facilitate the crimes, Lewis rented two hotel rooms at the Americas Best Value Inn & Suites. One room was used for Lewis and the minors to sleep, while the other room was designated for prostitution. Lewis took all the money that the minors earned from prostitution and stashed it in one of the hotel rooms.
This case was investigated by the Tampa Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacie B. Harris.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.