Trafficking in persons

United States v. Paris

UNODC No.:
USA018

Fact Summary

The defendant operated a prostitution business in the Hartford, Connecticut area in which he controlled and solicited young girls to perform sex acts with males in exchange for money. The defendant operated his prostitution business as Paris Enterprises Group, LLC and Connecticut Companions. Co-conspirator Ronald Martinez operated his prostitution business as Fantasy Entertainment Services, Fantasy Companions, Fantasy Playmates, and Connecticut Playmates. Co-conspirator Brian Forbes operated his own prostitution business, and was aided and abetted by co-conspirator Shanaya Hicks in the operation of that business. The defendant and co-conspirator Ronald Martinez regularly assisted each other’s prostitution businesses by sharing girls and drivers. The defendant and co-conspirator Brian Forbes also assisted each other’s prostitution business by sharing girls. Co-conspirator Brian Forbes sold the victims Anonymous 1 and Anonymous 2 to the defendant.

The defendant placed advertisements in the yellow pages telephone directory for the Hartford area and in a local Hartford area newspaper. When calls were received from johns, the defendant instructed the johns to go to a specific motel room where the girls would meet them for an “in-call”, or instructed drivers to take the girls to the johns’ chosen location for an “out-call”.

Between 2000 and 2004, depending upon the victims' individual vulnerabilities, the defendant used various amounts of force, fraud, or coercion in order to force the adult victims to work as prostitutes. For instance, the defendant raped and beat the adult victims to gain control of them, and used heroin and its addictive properties to increase his ability to manipulate and coerce them. The defendant also used legal coercion to compel one victim to service his clients by threatening to have her arrested pursuant to a New Hampshire state warrant if she didn't continue to work for him. The defendant was well aware that some of the girls working for him were under the age of eighteen. The minors were in high school at the time, and no force or coercion was used to make them work for the defendant. Some of the girls that the defendant used were willing and consenting adult prostitutes, however, were taken advantage of by the defendant to make money for him.

Sentence Date:
2008-10-14
Author:
UNODC

Keywords

Means:
Threat or use of force or other forms of coercion
Fraud
Abuse of power or a position of vulnerability
Form of Trafficking:
Internal
Acts:
Recruitment
Transportation
Trafficking in Persons Protocol:
Article 5, Trafficking in Persons Protocol
Article 6, Trafficking in Persons Protocol
Purpose of Exploitation:
Exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation
Sector in which exploitation takes place:
Commercial sexual exploitation

Procedural Information

Legal System:
Common Law
Latest Court Ruling:
Court of 1st Instance
Type of Proceeding:
Criminal
 

In December of 2006, Dennis Paris, the remaining defendant in the twenty-nine count second superseding indictment (his co-conspirators all pleaded guilty) was charged with twenty-two counts for the following crimes: (a) one count of conspiracy to use an interstate facility to promote prostitution; (b) two counts of sex trafficking of a minor; (c) two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; (d) fourteen counts of use of an interstate facility to promote prostitution; and (e) three counts of money laundering. On June 14, 2007, a jury found Paris guilty and sentencing took place on October 28, 2008. Kathleen Celotti (ex-prostitute for the defendant & co-conspirator Forbes), Ronald Martinez (owner of prostitution business), Steven Tanuis (employee for Martinez), and Jerome Hargrove (driver) pleaded guilty, and the latter three co-defendants have agreed to cooperate with the government to be called as witnesses.

 
 

Victims / Plaintiffs in the first instance

Victim:
Anonymous 1
Gender:
Female
Victim:
Anonymous 2
Gender:
Female
Victim:
Anonymous 3
Gender:
Child
Victim:
Anonymous 4
Gender:
Child

Defendants / Respondents in the first instance

Defendant:
Dennis Paris
Gender:
Male
Legal Reasoning:

The defendant was charged for the 29 counts listed above.

HOLDING: On June 14, 2007, a jury convicted Paris of knowingly using minors, including a 14-year-old girl, in his prostitution business and also of using force, fraud, and various coercive means to compel two adult victims to perform commercial sex acts for his financial benefit.  In addition to four counts of sex-trafficking, Paris was also found guilty of conspiracy and 13 counts related to the use of interstate facilities to promote and conduct a prostitution business, as well as three counts of money laundering.

DECISION: On October 14, 2008, Paris was sentenced to 360 months (30 years) in prison, five years of supervised release and $46,116 in restitution

Charges / Claims / Decisions

Defendant:
Dennis Paris
Charge / Claim:
Conspiracy to use an interstate facility to promote prostitution
Legislation / Statute / Code:
Title 18 U.S.C. Section 371
Verdict:
Guilty
Charge / Claim:
Sex Trafficking of a minor (2 counts)
Verdict:
Guilty
Charge / Claim:
Sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion (2 counts)
Verdict:
Guilty
Charge / Claim:
Use of an interstate facility to promote prostitution, Travel Act (14 counts)
Verdict:
Guilty
Charge / Claim:
Money laundering
Term of Imprisonment:
30 years
 
5 years of supevised release
Fine / Payment to State:
Yes  46116  USD  (10,000-50,000 USD)  

Court

United States Federal Courthouse for the District of Connecticut

Sources / Citations

US Dept. of Justice: www.doj.gov

Humantrafficking.org:  http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates/680

Canada Free Press:  http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/5854

Government’s Trial Brief:  US v. Paris, 2007 WL 6460148 (D.Conn.)

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