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Press Release

Former Hartford Resident Pleads Guilty To Sex Trafficking Of A Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that KAMAR JAMES, also known as “Sean Steppa,” “Sean Lawson” and “Akamar Lawson,” 30, a citizen of Jamaica last residing in Hartford, pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford to one count of sex trafficking of a minor.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2011, JAMES recruited a minor victim whom JAMES knew to be under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution.  On multiple occasions, JAMES transported the minor victim from Connecticut to streets in New York City where the victim would meet men who would pay her for sexual encounters.  JAMES also posted pictures of the minor victim on the Internet to advertise the victim’s prostitution services.  He then transported the victim to hotels in the New York City area when the victim engaged in pre-arranged prostitution encounters.  The victim turned over all of the proceeds from the prostitution encounters to JAMES.

JAMES is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on September 19, 2013, at which time he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of life.

JAMES has been detained since his arrest on February 3, 2012.

This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hartford Police Department, with the assistance of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David E. Novick.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated March 18, 2015