U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York
(716) 843-5700
August 4, 2014

Rochester Man Charged in Sex Trafficking Case

ROCHESTER, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Harris Hickman, 31, of Rochester, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking using force fraud or coercion. Sex trafficking of a minor carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum penalty of life, and a fine of $250,000. Sex trafficking using force, fraud or coercion carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum penalty of life and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, a woman reported that Hickman had used force to coerce her to engage in prostitution activities. In addition, Hickman posted advertisements for the prostitution using Backpage.com. The woman also reported that the defendant got a 15-year-old minor involved in prostitution using Backpage.com as well.

The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, which includes the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn, the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli, and Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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