MAN GETS 17 YEARS IN PRISON FOR SEX TRAFFICKING GIRL FROM HAWTHORNE CEDAR KNOLLS IN WESTCHESTER
September 14, 2019
Michael P. McKinney
A Queens man has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for sex trafficking girls, including one from Hawthorne Cedar Knolls in Mount Pleasant.
Luidji Benjamin was sentenced Friday after he was found guilty in Manhattan federal court in May of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking of a minor, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. A jury convicted him after a five-day trial.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, in late 2015 Benjamin engaged in sex trafficking, exploiting two girls for prostitution. He used Backpage.com and Craiglist.com to post advertisements for commercial sex.
Benjamin and a co-conspirator, who was not named, also recruited a second minor.
Benjamin and the co-conspirator spent money from the sex trafficking on liquor, marijuana, and other goods for themselves, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
In addition to his prison time, Benjamin was also sentenced to five years of supervised release.
Benjamin is one of 19 people charged in December 2018 with sex trafficking girls and young women. They were accused of recruiting at least 15 minor girls in the child welfare system, including at least nine girls at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls in Mount Pleasant.
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