A 23-year-old man from Queens has been convicted of sex trafficking a pair of minors, including one that lived in a residential treatment facility in Westchester County.
Following a five-day trial, Luidji “Zoe” Benjamin, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking of a minor, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced this week.
In 2015, Benjamin “engaged in sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of two minors,” Berman said. Benjamin recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, and maintained women for the purpose of commercial sex, including one minor victim.
That victim resided at a residential treatment facility located in Westchester, which provided housing for at-risk troubled children and adolescents on behalf of the department of social services for certain counties in New York State.
Benjamin recruited his first victim to engage in commercial sex through social media websites, and used online classified websites to post advertisements for commercial sex. Some of those advertisements included the minor giving oral sex to Benjamin. The minor went on to engage in commercial sex in cars and residences throughout Queens.
A second minor was eventually recruited to perform similar commercial sexual acts. Benjamin and a co-conspirator then spend the money made through the scheme on marijuana, liquor and other items for themselves, Berman said.
Berman noted that this prosecution is part of an ongoing investigation that has charged 19 people in eight indictments for sex trafficking more than a dozen minors in New York State’s social services system.
When he is sentenced, Benjamin will face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum term of life in prison. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
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