ORLANDO, FLORIDA MAN CHARGED WITH SEX TRAFFICKING OF A CHILD INTO NEW ORLEANS
BENSON DECEMBER CORIOLANT, 29, of Orlando, Florida, was arrested today for offenses related to his involvement in the sex trafficking of a minor into the New Orleans-area, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment on September 22, 2011, and it was sealed until federal agents arrested CORIOLANT in the Tampa, Florida-area this past weekend.
According to the indictment, in early 2009, CORIOLANT recruited the minor, who was approximately 14, to begin working for him as a prostitute in the Orlando area. CORIOLANT forced the minor to turn over the money she earned from prostitution either to him or one of his associates. CORIOLANT also provided the minor with alcohol and illicit and mood-altering drugs as a way of numbing her senses and controlling her behavior.
The indictment further alleges that in March 2010, CORIOLANT arranged for the minor to travel to the New Orleans-area to work as a prostitute. In the course of making the arrangements, CORIOLANT used an online classified advertisement website to solicit individuals interested in paying for sex with the minor. The minor worked in New Orleans for approximately one month, until she was arrested and, ultimately, sent back to Orlando with relatives. In May 2010, CORIOLANT again sent the minor back to New Orleans to work as a prostitute, which she did until she was again arrested. CORIOLANT again advertised sex with the minor on the online classified advertisement website.
The indictment further alleges that during this time, the money from the commercial sex exploitation of the minor was provided to CORIOLANT, who allegedly instructed the minor in what to charge for sex, how to provide him with the profits, how to attract business, how to avoid being apprehended by law enforcement, and how to perform certain acts.
If convicted, CORIOLANT faces up to life imprisonment, for sex trafficking of children, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release. CORIOLANT can also be required to register as a sex offender.
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.
United States Attorney Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg and Project Safe Childhood Coordinator Brian Klebba.
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