Mass. Resident Detained in RI on Sex Trafficking Charge
PROVIDENCE – Andy Joseph, 24, of Brockton, Mass., was ordered detained in federal custody in Rhode Island today on allegations that he sex trafficked a 15-year-old Rhode Island resident over a two-month period this past summer. Joseph, arrested by Homeland Security Investigations agents and Pawtucket Police on Thursday, was ordered detained following an initial appearance today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations for New England; and Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King announced the arrest and detention of Andy Joseph on a federal criminal complaint charging him with sex trafficking of a child.
According to information presented to the court, it is alleged that on June 15, 2016, Joseph, who had been communicating with the Rhode Island teenager via an Internet web site, met the 15-year-old in Rhode Island and drove the minor to a hotel room in Seekonk, Mass. It is alleged that once in the hotel room, he photographed the 15-year-old, posting the photographs in advertisements on Backpage.com, offering the young teenager for commercial sexual activity.
It is alleged that between June 15 and August 13, 2016, Joseph arranged for sexual encounters involving the 15-year-old. It is alleged that following each commercial sexual encounter, most or all of the money was turned over to Joseph, at his insistence.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Terrence P. Donnelly and John P. McAdams. The matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and Pawtucket Police.