You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Court Of Appeals Affirms Conviction In Human Trafficking Case

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:           (716) 843-5817
FAX:                 (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U. S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed the conviction and sentence of Thomas Cramer. The defendant was convicted on four counts of sex trafficking of minors and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

“The decision from the Court of Appeals affirms this Office’s approach towards using federal law to combat a modern day form of slavery,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “It also serves as a warning to any who would exploit children and others for their financial gain: we will be relentless in prosecution, and sentences in the event of conviction will be substantial.”   

As revealed in Court, from April through December 2011, the defendant enticed, promoted and profited from the commercial sex activities of four young girls knowing, or in reckless disregard of the fact, that the girls were all under 18 years old. Cramer used the internet to identify and recruit victims who typically came from broken homes or who were runaways. The defendant lured young girls into the commercial sex business claiming that they would live a “fancy life style,” living and working in hotels while making money.

In one exchange of text messages, between Cramer and a victim, the defendant enticed the girl by telling her she could make much more money performing commercial sex acts than she could working at a grocery store.

Cramer placed advertisements on adult web sites regarding the availability of the young girls for commercial sex acts. The acts took place at hotels in the Rochester and Buffalo and in the defendant’s residence. Customers were charged between $180 and $200 per hour to engage in sexual activities with the victims and Cramer received a portion of those proceeds.

U.S. Attorney Hochul urged parents and children to be aware of the threat posed by predators, and encouraged any interested in learning more about how to avoid becoming a victim to visit the Office’s website, www.justice.gov/usao-wdny.

On appeal the government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica J. Richards. The trial was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Updated December 18, 2015