State police arrested nine people involved in a sex trafficking ring Wednesday. The arrests came after a nine month investigation into the sex trafficking of a minor child in Oneida County.
Troopers say the investigation focused on all aspects of the sex trafficking trade, including the traffickers, the facilitators and the individuals purchasing sex acts with the victim.
According to state police, the criminal organization was lead by a brother and sister, Edward and Lynnette Tilden. Troopers say they used a website called Backpage.com to advertise and sell the child online to various individuals for the purpose of sexual acts.
Troopers say 25-year-old Lynette Tilden of Utica and 30-year-old Edward Tilden of Orwell used the online classified advertising site Backpage.com to advertise throughout the Northeast for sex with the victim.
Authorities say both are charged with felony trafficking, along with 23-year-old Alexandria Davall of Utica.
Two men from the greater Utica area are charged with rape, two others with endangering the welfare of a child and two other men are accused of a criminal sex act.
Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara says the girl was a 16 year old runaway who returned to the Utica area in February. He says a taxi driver brought the girl to Alexandria Duvall who he says introduced the girl to prostitution in exchange for room and board. McNamara says the girl was then sold to the Tildens who marketed her on Backpage.com. "They were treating her like she was in essence, almost slave material where she was their property and they used her as they so chose." McNamara told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon.
The arrests followed a nine-month investigation. Troopers didn't have the names of lawyers representing some of the suspects.
The investigation was led by the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations in Marcy. The Utica City Police Department Metro Unit, New York State Police in Fulton, Hastings, Pulaski and the Oneida County District Attorney's Office all assisted with this investigation. The victim has been offered services through the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center.
State Police intend to hold a news conference about the sex trafficking ring Friday afternoon.
State police say Lynnette Tilden advertised herself and others throughout New York and the east coast region of the United States in the following locations: New York: New York City, Utica, Rome, Albany, Fishkill, Herkimer, Oneida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, Virginia, and Connecticut.
The following individuals were arrested:
- Lynnette M. Tilden, 25, of Utica: sex trafficking
- Edward E. Tilden, 30, of Orwell: sex trafficking
- Alexandria Davall, 23, of Utica: sex trafficking
- Michael J. Olsen, 28, of Verona: third-degree criminal sex act
- David J. Jamrosz, 56, of New York Mills: third-degree criminal sex act
- Michael J. Curcio, 22, of Whitesboro: third-degree rape
- Rosheen A. Brooks, 32, of Utica: third-degree rape
- Jakeem E. Penn Sr, 35, of Utica: endangering the welfare of a child
- Curtis L. O'dell, 61, of Utica: endangering the welfare of a child
State police say more individuals may have been trafficked by these individuals. Anyone with information about this investigation or the people involved are asked to call the New York State Police at 315-366-6000.
(Information from the AP was used in this article)