WASHINGTON – Brian Forbes of Hartford, Conn., pleaded guilty yesterday to six counts related to his role in a sex-trafficking ring. Forbes is the ninth of ten defendants to plead guilty to federal charges in this case. In his plea agreement, Forbes has admitted to placing three juveniles in prostitution and compelling two adults into prostitution through force, fraud or coercion.
On Aug. 8 of last year, Forbes, along with nine other co-defendants, was charged in a 64-count superseding indictment related to the operation of a trafficking ring in Connecticut. Forbes was also charged, along with and two of his co-defendants, with sex trafficking minors and sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. Today, Forbes pleaded guilty to three counts of sex trafficking of minors; two counts of sex trafficking adult women through force, fraud or coercion; and conspiracy to use interstate facilities to promote prostitution. Forbes faces a maximum penalty of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $1.5 million.
“This sex trafficking case, like many others, involved the repeated victimization of American citizens,” said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “All too often, these crimes occur right in our own backyards. The Justice Department will remain dedicated to prosecuting this form of modern-day slavery.”
“Women and girls being forced to commit sexual acts against their will and under the threat of violence is a brutal crime,” said Kevin J. O’Connor, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. “Federal law enforcement is committed to vigorously prosecuting those who engage in human trafficking, especially when minors are victimized.”
Human trafficking prosecutions are a top priority of the President of the United States and the Department of Justice. In the last six fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, has increased by six-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed in court. In fiscal year 2006, the Department obtained a record high number of defendants charged and defendants convicted in human trafficking prosecutions.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hartford and Windsor Police Departments, and the Internal Revenue Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Genco and Special Litigation Counsel Andrew J. Kline of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.