Guilty Plea In Prostitution Case
Date: Friday, August 25 @ 11:35:51 EDT
One Of The Ringleaders Of A Violent, Interstate
Business Faces More Than 20 Years In Prison. He Is Accused Of Bonding
Girls Out Of Jail On Condition That They Work For Him
August 23, 2006
By EDMUND H. MAHONY, Courant Staff Writer
A West Hartford man accused of being one of the ringleaders of a
violent, interstate prostitution business faces more than 20 years in
prison after he pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to charges that
include conspiracy, promoting prostitution, money laundering and
transporting women between states in violation of the Mann Act.
other things, Ronald Martinez, 39, who formerly operated a licensed
bail bond company called Liberty Bail Bonds, is accused of bonding
girls out of jail on the condition that they pay the costs of their
bonds by going to work for him as prostitutes.
Martinez was one of a group of nine men and one woman accused in March
of running three related prostitution rings. One of the ringleaders is
accused of holding two women against their will and forcing them into
prostitution. Members of the ring also are accused of employing three
minors as prostitutes.
Forbes, 41, who has had various recent addresses in the Waterbury and
Hartford areas, is accused of holding the two women, choking one of
them, providing them with heroin, forcing them into prostitution and
then selling them to another ringleader, Dennis Paris, for $1,200 each.
33, also is charged in the case. His case, and that of Forbes and six
others are pending in U.S. District Court in Hartford.
is accused in the indictment against him and the others with using
cellular telephones to dispatch drivers to deliver prostitutes to
prearranged meetings with their customers in Connecticut and
Massachusetts. Customers had the option of paying the $125 to $300 fee
in cash or by credit card.
Martinez drummed up customers by
advertising in newspapers and in the telephone book as an escort
service under the names Fantasy Entertainment Services, Fantasy
Companions, Fantasy Playmates, and Connecticut Playmates.
related development in the case, Jerome "June" Hargrove, 27, of
Windsor, pleaded guilty on Monday to promoting prostitution. He
admitted that between November 2003 and September 2005 he was employed
as a driver. Federal prosecutors say he was paid $50 every time he
delivered a prostitute to a customer.
Martinez and Hargrove are
to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Christopher F. Droney on Nov. 9.
Hargrove faces up to five years in prison. The most serious charge
against Martinez carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years.
The remaining defendants in the case have not indicated whether they will plead guilty, the U.S. attorney's office said.