24-year-old David Minasian of Malden, Massachusetts and 23-year-old Madonna Say of Lynn, Massachusetts have been indicted on federal charges of prostituting a 15-year-old girl on Backpage. The girl was a runaway who Minasian and Say allegedly took to Florida to have her work as a prostitute for them. On the way there the pair supplied the girl with booze, weed and percocet. Originally they told the girl that they would split the money but of course they didn’t. Then when they got back to Massachusetts they told the girl they she owed them money for the drugs they gave her. They also took explicit pictures of her when they advertised her on Backpage.
While the pair are being held without bail they are looking at a max of 25-years.
The statutory minimum penalty for sex trafficking of a child is 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The statutory minimum penalty for sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion is 15 years, followed by five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Unless the sentences are concurrent then they’re looking at a max of 15. In reality I’ll be surprised if they even get 10. These sentences need to be tougher. When dealing in prostitution and human trafficking if you really want to discourage these kinds of crimes they need to make the risk much greater than the reward.
Meanwhile Backpage is still making profits off of these kids being trafficked and very few people actually care.