A 23-year-old man from Queens will spend nearly two decades behind bars after being sentenced in Manhattan federal court for his involvement in sex trafficking minors, including one from a residential treatment facility in Westchester.
Luidji Benjamin has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for sex trafficking of minor females, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced. He was convicted by a federal jury of one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, following a five-day jury trial earlier this year.
Following his release from prison, Benjamin will also face five years of supervised release.
Benjamin had faced life in prison for sex trafficking, which included a child from Hawthorne Cedar Knolls in Mount Pleasant, which “provides housing for at-risk troubled children and adolescents on behalf of departments of social services for certain counties in New York State.”
Beginning in the Fall of 2015 through December 2015, Benjamin - who is also known as “Zoe” - recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, and maintained women for the purpose of commercial sex.
Berman said that Benjamin recruited his victim from Westchester to engage in sex through social media and other online outlets. Some of the advertisements included graphic images, including some of his victim having oral sex with him. Benjamin directed his victims to engage in commercial sex acts in cars and residences throughout Queens.
Benjamin and a co-conspirator also recruited a second victim, using the profits from the scheme on marijuana, liquor, and other items. His arrest was part of a larger prostitution bust, with nearly two dozen suspects being taken into custody for trafficking underage girls.
“Luidji Benjamin sexually exploited vulnerable girls for his own financial gain. This sexual predator damaged the lives of at least two young women, advertising their bodies for commercial sex,” Berman said in a statement. “Today Benjamin was justly sentenced to 17 years in prison for his callous and depraved exploitation.”
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