Additional Charges of Sex Trafficking in “Sinful Innocence” Prostitution Case
BOSTON – A Springfield couple was charged in U.S. District Court in Springfield today with additional crimes of sex trafficking in connection with operating a prostitution business advertised as Sinful Innocence.
Milford Lewis, 35, and Tiana Lewis, 31, were charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking, interstate transportation to engage in prostitution, interstate inducement to engage in prostitution, and extortionate threats.
In January 2016, Milford and Tiana Lewis were originally charged in a ten count indictment with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking, interstate transportation to engage in prostitution, interstate inducement to engage in prostitution, and extortionate threats. The superseding indictment contains eight additional charges relating to five additional sex trafficking victims.
According to charging documents, beginning in August 2015, Milford and Tiana Lewis were the CEOs of Sinful Innocence, which purported to be a talent agency for the adult entertainment industry. Through the purported talent agency, the Lewis’s recruited and induced young women to work as models, adult entertainers, adult pornography actors, and escorts. It is alleged that the Lewis’s convinced the women to travel to Springfield from other states, and in one case, they picked a woman up from Connecticut and drove her to Springfield. The young women were quickly put to work as prostitutes at a house in Springfield and in motels in West Springfield, sometimes without receiving pay. Women who wanted to leave or who broke the rules of Sinful Innocence were subjected to beatings and threats to kill or harm them. The women were also allegedly threatened with violence when they were unable to pay a termination fee imposed by Sinful Innocence.
The charge of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking each provides for a sentence of no greater than a lifetime in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The sex trafficking statute also imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for offenses committed by means of force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion. The charge of interstate inducement to engage in prostitution provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine $250,000. The charge of interstate transportation to engage in prostitution provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine $250,000. The charge of extortionate threats provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Hampden County District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani; and Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Alex J. Grant of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is brought as a result of the investigative collaboration of the Western Massachusetts Human Trafficking Working Group, which includes the United States Attorney’s Office, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office, as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The Working Group began meetings in August 2015 to work cooperatively to address crimes involving commercial sex trafficking in Western Massachusetts.