A man and a woman have been arrested and charged with recruiting an underage girl to exchange sex acts for money at two locations in Union County at various times last year, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.
Horace Spencer III, a.k.a. “Trey,” 23, of Newark, and 19-year-old Carisma Snell of Hillside are charged with two counts of first-degree human trafficking and two counts of first-degree promoting the prostitution of a minor. Spencer is additionally charged with a single count of second-degree sexual assault.
The arrests were the result of a five-month Special Victims Unit investigation spearheaded by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Sheets and Detective Brian O’Malley, following an initial referral from the Union Police Department and Hillside Police Department.
The investigation revealed that the underage victim was first contacted by Snell, who put her in touch with Spencer, Sheets said.
Spencer allegedly used ads on escort websites to arrange “dates” for the victim, coordinating sex-for-cash meetings at a motel in Linden and another in Rahway for a period of several months last year, according to Sheets.
Spencer and Snell were arrested at their respective homes Wednesday without incident and transported to Union County Jail pending first appearances.
The Union County Prosecutor’s Office is actively attempting to identify and locate additional victims in this matter, and anyone with information is being urged to contact Detective O’Malley at 908-965-3881.
Convictions on charges of first-degree trafficking of a minor are punishable by a minimum of 20 years in state prison without parole up to a maximum of a life sentence.