Joel Lindsay, age 23, and Joseph Pina, age 24, both of East Hartford, made the plea on Friday, Oct. 15 in Hartford, said Leonard C Boyle, Acting US Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in October 2019, Lindsay and Pina recruited, enticed, and transported a minor victim to engage in commercial sex acts.
Specifically, in October 2019, Lindsay, Pina, and another individual picked up the minor victim and took her to a hotel in East Windsor.
At the hotel, they took photographs of the minor victim and posting her photos on a website, and advertised her sexual services.
Lindsay and Pina then arranged prostitution appointments for the minor victim.
On that night, the minor victim earned at least $100 from prostitution appointments, all of which she gave to Lindsay, the US Attorney's Office said.
Lindsay and Pina posted more advertisements on the same website and arranged prostitution appointments for the minor victim at a hotel in Windsor Locks.
The following two days, Lindsay and Pina posted additional advertisements on the website and the minor victim saw prostitution customers each day.
The victim again gave all of the money earned through these appointments to Lindsay.
The investigation further revealed that Lindsay and Pina engaged in sexual activity with the minor victim, even though they knew that she was under the age of 18.
Lindsay pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a minor, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
He is scheduled to be sentenced next year and has been detained since his arrest in August 2020.
On Wednesday, Oct. 6, Pina pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
He is released on a $100,000 bond while awaiting sentencing early next year.
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