Tamarac Man Sentenced to Thirty Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking of a Minor and Production of Child Pornography
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gilles, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Leighton Martin Curtis, 35, of Tamarac, Florida, was sentenced today on charges of sex trafficking of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1591(a), and production of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2251(a). United States District Judge Joan A. Lenard sentenced Curtis to 30 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Curtis was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $54,500.
On November 18, 2011, Curtis was convicted after a jury trial. According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, in December 2009, Curtis met L.S., a minor, when she was 15 years old and a runaway. Curtis recruited L.S. to come work for him as a prostitute, sending her out on prostitution dates within days of meeting her. Curtis taught L.S. about the inner workings of the prostitution business, teaching her how to find customers through the posting of advertisements on web sites such as Craigslist and Backpage.com and instructing her on how much to charge customers for her services. On New Year’s Eve 2009, Curtis transported L.S. from North Carolina to Broward County, where she worked as a prostitute under his supervision for more than a year.
According to the trial testimony, Curtis prostituted the victim four to five days per week, servicing five to seven customers per day, generating thousands of dollars weekly. Curtis used the proceeds to support his lifestyle, which included nightly gambling at the Hard Rock Casino and driving around in a high end vehicle. During the time Curtis prostituted L.S., he traveled with her throughout Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, prostituting her in each of these locations. He also took sexually explicit photographs of her to be used in prostitution ads. In January 2011, L.S. ran away from Curtis and the FBI located her in North Carolina in May 2011.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Corey Steinberg and Mark Dispoto.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.