Union County, New Jersey Man Admits Recruiting a Girl to Work as a Prostitute
NEWARK, NJ—A Plainfield, New Jersey, man today admitted arranging sexual encounters involving a 15-year-old girl in return for payment, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Ronald Garris Jr., 30, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of sex trafficking of a minor.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Garris admitted that on June 14, 2013, he met a 15-year-old girl at a Best Western Hotel in South Plainfield, New Jersey, and recruited her to work as a prostitute. On June 18, 2013, Garris posted an advertisement on backpage.com that contained explicit photographs of the girl, including her telephone number and the town in which she was located. Garris admitted arranging “dates” in which the girl was expected to perform sexual acts in exchange for payment. Garris also admitted that on June 21, 2013, the girl went to the Howard Johnson Express Inn in New Brunswick, New Jersey, for sexual encounters that he arranged.
The count of sex trafficking of a minor is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. It also carries a maximum fine of $250,000. Garris must register as a sex offender. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 18, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel; the New Brunswick Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office with the investigation leading to today’s plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meredith Williams and Danielle Corcione of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.