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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sex Trafficker Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Reginald Chaney, a/k/a “Reggie,” 21, of East Providence, was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison for conspiring to transport minors for the purpose of sex trafficking, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for New England; Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.; East Providence Police Chief Christopher J. Parella; and Seekonk, Mass., Police Chief Craig A. Mace.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., also ordered Chaney to serve 5 years supervised release upon completion of his prison term. On May 10, 2016, Chaney admitted to the court that in January 2015, he conspired with two juveniles to transport two females, ages 15 and 16, to motels in Seekonk, Mass., and to locations in Providence, Warwick, Charlestown and Narragansett for the purpose of sex trafficking.

United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, “Make no mistake, this defendant preyed on children with one motivation – making money.  He sold children for sex, plain and simple.  Nothing is more reprehensible, and he deserves every day of his ten year sentence.  Yet my thoughts today are less than with him than with his victims, who have shown such courage in the face of such despicable conduct.  It is my hope that, with ongoing support from our many non-governmental partners, they can continue to rebuild their promising young lives.”

 “This case is a stark reminder that sex trafficking can and does happen in every community, and is often perpetrated by individuals not much older than their victims. It is disturbing to think that anyone as young as the three defendants in this case could be capable of manipulating and forcing young women into sex trafficking, yet it happens quite frequently,” said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.  “I commend the cooperative efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement to save these young victims. We have come a long way in the past few years in both getting help for the victims and putting the traffickers behind bars for a long time. That cooperation between agencies is critical to shutting down these types of operations.”

According to information presented to the court, on January 28, 2015, Providence Police responded to Hasbro Childrens’ Hospital for a report of sexual exploitation offenses involving a 16 year-old female. As a result of information provided to the officers, and a subsequent investigation by Providence Police and Homeland Security Investigations, law enforcement learned that on January 16, 2015, Chaney and two juvenile males conspired to take photographs of the 16 year-old female and a 15 year-old female in various stages of undress, and posted the photographs on Backpage.com.  Between January 16 and January 28, 2015, Chaney and the two juvenile males conspired to transport the teenage girls from Chaney’s East Providence residence to locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for the purpose of offering the girls for prostitution.

Chaney was arrested by East Providence Police on January 29, 2015, and ordered detained in state custody as a Superior Court probation violator on a 5-year suspended sentence imposed on January 14, 2015, on a weapons charge.

Two juvenile males from East Providence identified as co-conspirators in this matter were arrested on January 29, 2015, and prosecuted in Family Court by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office.  Brian Desmarais, who was 17 at the time of his arrest, pleaded nolo contendere on November 2, 2015, to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Desmarais received a certified sentence of 10 years with 19 months plus two days to serve, the remainder suspended with probation. He is serving his sentence at the Rhode Island Training School until a “modification hearing” takes place at which time a Family Court judge will determine if the sentence should be modified or continued to be served at the Adult Correctional Institution. 

 The second juvenile offender, J’Maire Wray, who was 15 at the time of his arrest, pleaded nolo contendere before Family Court Judge Kathleen A. Voccola to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, and one count of felony assault.  Under the terms of a plea agreement, Wray received a certified sentence of 15 years, with six years to serve. 

Under certification, both Desmarais and Wray are convicted and their sentences will extend into adulthood. 

The cases were jointly prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly and Rhode Island Assistant Attorney General Daniel Carr Guglielmo.

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Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
16-82
Updated August 10, 2016