For Immediate Release - October 22, 2013

Dorchester Man Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to Prison in Connection with Engaging Minors in Prostitution

BOSTON – A Dorchester man has pleaded guilty and been sentenced in connection with engaging two underage girls into prostitution at hotels and residences in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Essex Counties, in order to derive a profit. He was sentenced to five to seven years in state prison. 

Norman Barnes, age 30, pleaded guilty today in Suffolk Superior Court to charges of Deriving Support from a Minor in Prostitution (10 counts), Aiding and Abetting the Commission of Statutory Rape (7 counts), and Statutory Rape (4 counts). After the plea was entered, Judge Carol Ball sentenced Barnes to five to seven years in state prison.

“This defendant exploited and victimized two young girls for his own personal profit and benefit,” said AG Coakley. “We thank Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police for their work in this case and will continue to work with law enforcement and local authorities to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

“Cases like this one are stark reminders that commercial sexual exploitation is not a victimless crime,” said Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley. “It puts real people in real danger, and it’s perpetrated by real predators. Attorney General Coakley’s office has done outstanding work on this case and on the larger issue of human trafficking in Massachusetts, and it was our privilege to assign a Suffolk prosecutor to the team that held this defendant accountable.”

On May 19, 2011, Barnes was arrested in Quincy by a Massachusetts State Police Trooper after one of the victim’s relatives alerted the authorities to information that Barnes had engaged the victim into prostitution. The 15-year old female notified family members of her location. The family went to the hotel in Quincy where they met and reunited with the victim. Barnes was arrested nearby after he fled on foot from a Massachusetts State Trooper.

Barnes engaged two underage girls, aged 15 and 16, into prostitution in order to derive a profit. The investigation revealed that Barnes used the website Backpage.com to advertise the victims for prostitution activities. Barnes used his cell phone to take photographs of the underage girls and then posted the pictures as part of advertisements for prostitution through the website. Barnes would transport the girls to hotel rooms and residences in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk counties where they would engage in prostitution with individuals who had responded to the online advertisements by telephone or email. Barnes himself had sexual intercourse with the 15-year old female on several occasions.

A Grand Jury returned indictments against Barnes on September 29, 2011. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced today in Suffolk Superior Court. The human trafficking law went into effect on February 19, 2012. 

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Ellen Lemire, of Suffolk DA Conley’s Child Protection Unit and Assistant Attorney General Deb Bercovitch who handles human trafficking prosecutions within the AG’s Enterprise and Major Crimes Division. The multi-agency investigation received additional assistance from the Norfolk and Essex District Attorneys’ Offices, Boston Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police Special Services Unit, the Norfolk County CPAC Unit and the AG’s Computer Forensics Lab.

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