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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 12, 2016

Rochester Couple Charged With Sex Trafficking

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Frederick Evans, 38, and LaShara Evans, 36, both of Rochester, NY, were charged by criminal complaint with sex trafficking with force, fraud or coercion and sex trafficking of a minor. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the investigation began when law enforcement spoke with an individual who indicated that she had been trafficked by Frederick Evans, and his now wife, “Shar”, who she later identified as LaShara Evans, since the age of 15. The witness told law enforcement officers she first met Frederick Evans at the age of 15 and he got her involved in prostitution adding he advertised her on Backpage.com.  The witness further stated that she and “Shar” were engaged in prostitution activities in Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown and Buffalo.  The money would be turned over to Frederick Evans or LaShara Evans. 

The witness also disclosed the name of other individuals who were being prostituted by Frederick Evans. A second witness confirmed that when she was 15 or 16 years old, she was engaged in prostitution with the first witness and her “people” in Binghamton and eventually, the entire group was stopped by a New York State Trooper.  A review of police records revealed that a NYS Trooper had stopped Frederick Evans, LaShara Medina (the maiden name of LaShara Evans), and the first and second witnesses in December 2011. A third witness indicated that she too had been prostituting for Frederick Evans, starting when she was 17 years old. The third witness indicated Frederick Evans took her to Louisiana and was “abusive.” 

The defendants made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman. LaShara Evans was released on conditions. Frederick Evans is being held pending a detention hearing scheduled for May 16, 2016.

The investigation is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, Special Agent in Charge and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated May 13, 2016