Queens Man Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 151 Months in Prison for Sex Trafficking

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MARK LEITZSEY was sentenced today to 151 months in prison for his role in the sex trafficking of a teenage girl (the “Victim”) for profit. He was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge BARBARA S. JONES. On May 9, 2011, LEITZSEY pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge DEBRA FREEMAN to one count of sex trafficking of minors.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney BHARARA said: “Mark Leitzsey engaged in predatory conduct so he could make money off the back of a minor whom he forced to submit to his will. Sex trafficking is an egregious offense, and targeting a minor makes it that much more reprehensible.”

According to the complaint, the underlying indictment, the superseding information, LEITZSEY’s plea allocution, and documents filed in connection with the sentencing:

Between 2009 and April 2010, LEITZSEY sold narcotics to NYPD undercover detectives on several occasions at his then-residence on Union Avenue in the Bronx, New York. During one such sale, LEITZSEY told a female undercover detective, “I run a brothel upstairs and need girls like you to work for me.”

Later, in June 2010, in a consensually recorded telephone conversation between LEITZSEY and an undercover detective (“Detective-1”), LEITZSEY agreed to provide several prostitutes for what he believed would be a bachelor party. The prostitutes were to perform commercial sex acts in exchange for approximately $200 each. LEITZSEY subsequently sent a text message to Detective-1 with a photograph of one of the prostitutes for the bachelor party.

On July 28, 2010, LEITZSEY and Detective-1 met in Queens, New York. During that meeting, which was consensually recorded by law enforcement, Detective-1 gave LEITZSEY several hundred dollars as a downpayment for the bachelor party, in exchange for which LEITZSEY again agreed to provide prostitutes, including a seventeen-year-old girl, who would perform commercial sex acts at the party. LEITZSEY then provided Detective-1 with a link to BoostHookt, a chatroom for Boost Mobile users, and told her to look under his username to see photographs of the girls whom LEITZSEY exploited as prostitutes. The bachelor party was ultimately scheduled for August 6, 2010.

After arriving at a hotel in New York, New York, with Victim-1 and another woman, LEITZSEY was arrested on August 6, 2010. Victim-1, who was 18 years old at the time, later explained to law enforcement that she met LEITZSEY when she was approximately 14 years old. She said that when she was approximately 16 years old and a minor, a fact about which LEITZSEY was aware, he caused her to engage in commercial sex acts in exchange for money on several occasions and kept some or all of the money she was paid. LEITZSEY used violence and threats of violence to force her to engage in a commercial sex act with one of his clients.

In addition to the prison term, Judge JONES sentenced LEITZSEY, 45, of Queens, New York, to five years of supervised release.

During the sentencing, Judge JONES said: “I agree with the government that the conduct was reprehensible, and that may be an understatement.”

Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the FBI and the NYPD.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney AMANDA KRAMER is in charge of the prosecution.

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