Rochester Sisters Plead Guilty to Sex Trafficking
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Jerese Blue, 27, and Chellsie Blue, 23, both of Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that the two sisters conspired to recruit and entice two victims, knowing that the victims were under the age of 18 years old. Specifically, Chellsie and Jerese Blue paid for and posted ads for two minors on Backpage.com to advertise the two minors as “escorts.” The defendants further provided transportation for the minor victims to meet with customers to engage in commercial sex acts and allowed the use of their residences on Arnett Boulevard in Rochester for the minors to engage in commercial sex acts.
In April 2012, Rochester Police began investigating the whereabouts of a 14-year-old female runaway. When the girl was found, she stated that from April 14 to April 18, she and another 17-year-old female had been introduced to prostitution by the defendants. According to the 14-year-old female, between April 15 and April 18, she had sexual relationships with numerous customers. On occasion, the 14-year-old was taken to meet with customers at two motels, where the defendants paid for the room for the victim to engage in commercial sex. The defendants kept most of the money earned by the minors through the prostitution activity.
“The facts of this case represent a nightmare scenario for parents and children alike,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Here, vulnerable girls were taken by the defendants and transported into a life of misery. At sentencing, this Office will seek punishment appropriate for this reprehensible conduct.”
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys= Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The pleas are the culmination of an investigation on the part of the FBI's Cyber Crimes Task Force, which includes the Rochester Police Department under the direction of Acting Chief Michael Ciminelli, and Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Brian P. Boetig, Special Agent in Charge.
Sentencing for Chellsie Blue is scheduled for April 9, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Jerese Blue will be sentenced at 3:30 p.m., both before Judge Geraci.