Oct. 8—HARTFORD — An East Hartford man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal charge of conspiring to commit sex trafficking of a minor, admitting that he agreed to the use of a girl younger than 18 as a prostitute at hotels in East Windsor and Windsor Locks for four days in October 2019.
Joseph M. Pina, who is in his mid-20s, admitted in his written plea agreement that he had sex with the girl, who told him she was 16, "on numerous occasions" during those four days.
Federal prosecutors have agreed not to seek a prison sentence of more than eight years for Pina, according to the plea agreement. The prosecution and defense disagree as to the sentence range recommended for by federal guidelines, but the eight-year term is lower than either version.
Judge Vanessa L. Bryant is scheduled to impose the sentence Jan. 19 in U.S. District Court in Hartford.
Pina was held without bond for several months after his arrest in the case in August 2020, but he has been free on $100,000 bond since February and remains free pending sentencing, online court records show.
DEFENDANT: Joseph M. Pina, who is in his mid-20s and has lived in East Hartford
GUILTY PLEA: Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor
STATUS: Free on $100,000 bond; sentencing scheduled for Jan. 19
An agreed statement of facts in Pina's plea agreement gives a partial narrative of the crime, although it leaves major question unanswered, such as how the girl was recruited for prostitution.
The statement says Pina, his co-defendant Joel Lindsay, and an "unidentified female" picked the girl up on Oct. 17, 2019, and went to an East Windsor hotel, where the female took pictures of the girl to be used in advertisements of her sexual services and the ad was placed on a website.
Lindsay, a Jamaican citizen also known as "Joey Guapo," is in his 20s and has lived in East Hartford.
The indictment in the case charges both Lindsay and Pina with conspiring in the sex trafficking of the girl. But it charges Lindsay alone with actually committing the sex trafficking, which carries 10 years to life in prison.
Lindsay, who has been held without bond since his August 2020 arrest, is scheduled to plead guilty Friday, online federal court records show.
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