Tenn. Man Admits to Role in NOLA Sex Ring

     (CN) – A 27-year-old Memphis, Tenn., man pleaded guilty Wednesday to sex trafficking for his role in a scheme operated out of the Riviera Motel in New Orleans, according to prosecutors.
     Granville Robinson is the seventh defendant to admit to charges in the case. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit sex trafficking and one count of sex trafficking, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
     Robinson and six co-defendants, including the owner of the Riviera Motel, were charged in October 2014. Another man was charged separately. All six pleaded guilty before Robinson entered his pleas this week.
     Jeffrey Sallet, special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said in a statement that Robinson is “not only the ringleader of this gang, but also the most violent of the group.”
     The Memphis resident admitted that he forced women he trafficked to make a minimum amount of money each day, give him all their earnings, and made some of them get tattoos signifying that they belonged to him, according to the Justice Department.
     He also reportedly acknowledged that he once kicked a pregnant woman in the abdomen for texting without his permission, and beat another for trying to plan an escape.
     Robinson admitted to coercing more than 10 different women into prostitution for his benefit, operating out of various motels including the Riviera, the government said.
     The 27-year-old faces anywhere between 15 years and life in prison, though his plea agreement recommends 24 and a half years, according to prosecutors. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4.

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