United States Attorney
Southern District of New York

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced that MARK LEITZSEY, of
Queens, New York, pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court to
sex trafficking of a teenage girl (“Victim-1”). From the time
she turned 16 years old, LEITZSEY arranged for Victim-1 to
perform commercial sex acts. In particular, in August 2010, he
arranged for her to work at a bachelor party and to perform
commercial sex acts for $200. LEITZEY, 45, pled guilty before
U.S. Magistrate Judge DEBRA FREEMAN.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “The sex
trafficking of American teenagers is unfortunately more common
than people sometimes realize. This case demonstrates that we
will use every resource at our disposal to investigate and
prosecute such heinous conduct.”
According to the Complaint, the underlying Indictment,
the Superseding Information, and LEITZSEY’s plea allocution:
Between December 2009 and April 2010, LEITZSEY
participated in several sales of narcotics to NYPD undercover
detectives at his then-residence on Union Avenue in the Bronx,
New York. During one such narcotics transaction, he told a
female undercover detective, “I run a brothel upstairs and need
girls like you to work for me.” Later, in June 2010, in a
conversation with an undercover detective (“Detective-1”),
LEITZSEY agreed to provide several prostitutes for what he
believed would be a bachelor party. The prostitutes were to
perform commercial sex acts in exchange for approximately $200
per prostitute. He sent a text message to Detective-1 that
contained a photograph of one of the prostitutes for the bachelor
On July 28, 2010, LEITZSEY and Detective-1 met in
person in Queens, New York, where he accepted several hundred
dollars from Detective-1 as a down-payment for the bachelor
party. In exchange, he again agreed to provide prostitutes who
would perform commercial sex acts, including a 17-year old girl.
He then provided Detective-1 with a link to BoostHookt, a
chatroom for Boost Mobile users, and told her to look under his
username to see photographs of the girls whom LEITZSEY exploited
as prostitutes.
On August 6, 2010, the date of the alleged bachelor
party, LEITZSEY arrived at a hotel in New York, New York, with
two women, Victim-1 and another individual. Victim-1, who was 18
years old at the time, explained that she met LEITZSEY when she
was approximately 14 years old. Victim-1 also said that when she
was approximately 16 years old and still a minor, a fact LEITZSEY
was aware of, LEITZSEY caused her to engage in commercial sex
acts in exchange for money on several occasions and took some or
all of the money. Victim-1 also said that LEITZSEY used violence
and threats of violence to cause her to engage in a commercial
sex act for money with one of LEITZSEY’s clients.
* * *
LEITZSEY pled guilty to one count of sex trafficking of
a minor. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in
prison. He also admitted to the forfeiture allegations requiring
him to forfeit any property constituting or derived from proceeds
obtained by the defendant directly or indirectly as a result of
the crime, and any property used in the commission of the crime.
He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge BARBARA S. JONES on
August 11, 2011, at 11:00 a.m.
Mr. BHARARA praised the outstanding work of the FBI and
the NYPD in investigating this case.
This case is being prosecuted by the Complex Frauds
Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys AMANDA KRAMER and JESSICA ORTIZ
are in charge of the prosecution.
11-125 ###

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