After meeting a young girl online and building a relationship through social media and text messages, a Charlotte man engaged in sex trafficking, according to federal prosecutors. The U.S. Attorney on the federal sex crimes case alleged that Juan Gray-Sommerville picked the young girl up outside of her school, took her to a local motel and photographed her for the purposes of creating a sex-for-sale website.
Twenty-three-year-old Gray-Sommerville was then accused of being the young girl’s pimp – arranging meetups to exchange sex for money and driving the girl to the meetups. This happened at least twice before Gray-Sommerville abandoned the young girl and she called 911 for assistance.
The federal jury agreed with prosecutors and convicted Gray-Sommerville of illegal sex trafficking. He has not yet been sentenced, but faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Nationwide, there has been a crackdown on sex trafficking, which, is done mainly through internet solicitation, according to authorities. At the beginning of August, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that it had arrested three people they classified as pimps. Federal agents had targeted ads on Backpage.com that offered escort services, setting up at least one live bust by an undercover officer in the University area of Charlotte.
The FBI claims to have arrested 150 alleged pimps across the country.
Source: Charlotte Observer, “Charlotte man found guilty of sex trafficking,” August 16, 2013