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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Friday, October 11, 2019

Virginia Beach Area Woman Sentenced to More than 10 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking

Defendant helped co-defendant have sex with a teenage victim

BOSTON – A Virginia Beach area woman was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Springfield for sex trafficking.

Claire Poole, 41, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni to 125 months in prison and five years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking. Poole was arrested on July 7, 2017, and has been detained since that time.

Poole moved to the Springfield area in early 2017 and began helping co-defendant Walter Brown have sex with a teenage girl. Brown induced the girl to provide pornographic videos and to have sex with him on two occasions by paying her money. Poole acted as a go-between, first by conveying Brown’s initial offer to the girl and then by relaying Brown’s messages to the victim, which included negotiations about what Brown would pay. Poole also provided a cell phone to produce the pornographic videos, and Poole transported the minor to Brown’s house in Ware for sex on two occasions.

Brown is scheduled to plead guilty on Oct. 18, 2019.

United States Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Ware Police Chief Shawn Crevier; Monson Police Chief Stephen Kozloski; and Amherst Police Chief Scott Livingstone made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex J. Grant of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case. 

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 the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Project Safe Childhood
Updated October 11, 2019