The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 32-year-old former Pittston resident pleaded guilty today before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik to conspiring with others to recruit, harbor, and transport minor females to engage in commercial sex acts for money during the summer of 2013 in Luzerne and Dauphin counties.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant, Randy Coleman, Jr, admitted to participating in a scheme to use minor females to engage in prostitution. Coleman and his co-conspirators, including Gregory Boone who pleaded guilty last week, used cell phones to produce and transmit photographs of the females which were posted in “escort services” advertisements on a website to facilitate prostitution activities in motels in Luzerne County and in the Harrisburg area of Pennsylvania. Coleman’s role in the conspiracy involved renting motel rooms and acting as a “bodyguard” for the prostitution activities.
Coleman was indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2013, as a result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Pennsylvania State Police, Pittston Police, and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.
Coleman faces a potential maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Judge Kosik ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."