NEWARK – An Allentown, Pa., man was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges of sex trafficking involving a 16-year-old girl, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Francisco Torrellas, 29, a/k/a “Dream,” a/k/a “Daddy,” a/k/a “Pretty,” was charged by complaint on May 25, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk. Torrellas has been detained since his arrest in Pennsylvania on May 29.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From May 14 until May 19, Torrellas allegedly operated a prostitution service out of hotel rooms in Bergen, Hudson, and Union counties, including at the Red Roof Inn in Secaucus and hotels in Elizabeth and Elmwood Park. Torrellas allegedly acted as a “pimp,” employing young women, one of whom was a 16-year-old girl, to work for him as prostitutes. Torrellas allegedly required the girl to give him all of the money she made from performing sexual acts on customers, including any tips. The girl was also allegedly told that she was expected to earn $1,500 per day, except for Sundays, when she was expected to earn $750.
Torrellas allegedly took pictures of the 16-year-old girl, posing seductively wearing a thong and bra, which were used in advertisements for sexual acts found on backpage.com. When the minor girl told Torrellas that she was only 16 years old, Torrellas allegedly instructed her to tell clients that she was 19 years old. After the minor asked Torrellas to return her cell phone and told Torrellas that she wanted to leave, Torrellas allegedly told her he had broken her cell phone and directed another woman to keep a close eye on the minor.
On another day, Torrellas allegedly hit the minor in the face for not following Torrellas’ instruction to retrieve another woman. The minor also allegedly witnessed Torrellas punishing one of the other young women by choking and slapping her.
The count of sex trafficking of a minor is punishable by a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. It also carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and a mandatory minimum term of five years of supervised release.
Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; the Secaucus, Jersey City, and the Allentown, Pa., police departments with the investigation leading to indictment.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations; Torrellas is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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