Two Scranton Men Charged With Sex Trafficking Of A Minor
HARRISBURG -The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that two Scranton men were indicted on April 28, 2015, by a federal grand jury for sex trafficking of a minor and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minor and related charges.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the grand jury alleges that Jimmy Cantelmo, age 26, and Mark Matis a/k/a “Koolaid,” age 26, conspired with each other and others to persuade a female minor to engage in prostitution and illegal sexual activity during February through August 2014. The indictment alleges that the defendants and/or their co-conspirators used a cell phone to post advertisements for “escort services” involving the minor female on a website, rented motel rooms in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties to facilitate the prostitution activities, purchased condoms for the minor to use when engaging in commercial sex acts, and acted as “bodyguards” for the minor during prostitution activities.
James Cantelmo and Matis are formally charged with Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking of a Minor and Sex Trafficking of a Minor as aiders and abettors. Cantelmo is also charged with attempting to commit sex trafficking of a minor on August 26, 2014, and using a means and facility of interstate commerce to attempt to persuade and induce a minor to engage in prostitution on August 26, 2014.
Cantelmo was arrested last week and Matis will be arraigned this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick.
The charges stem from an investigation by Homeland Security Investigators and the Pennsylvania State Police.
Each charge is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.
This case was brought as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office 2015 Human Trafficking Initiative and 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."
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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