Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Reading, Pa., man was sentenced today to 10 years in New Jersey state prison for transporting women to motels to engage in paid sexual encounters that he arranged, and then keeping a portion of what they earned for himself.
Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Michael Tedesco, 49, pled guilty in December to Human Trafficking (First Degree) as well as Failure to Register as a Sex Offender (Third Degree) for an unrelated offense.
Tedesco received a 10-year term on the Human Trafficking charge and three years for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. The sentences, which will run concurrently, were handed down today in Superior Court by the Hon. Christopher J. Garrenger, J.S.C.
The investigation revealed that the encounters occurred in motels in Westampton and Mount Laurel, and that Tedesco would supply the women with illicit drugs and use force if necessary to make sure they complied.
“Human trafficking is a societal problem, but more importantly, a uniquely personal offense against the victim forced to engage in sexual activity or labor against their will,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “We take this crime very seriously. It is very difficult to investigate and prosecute, as victims are often terrified or manipulated by their offender against cooperating with law enforcement. The problem has become more insidious as the ongoing Substance Use Disorder epidemic presents a vulnerability in many victims for human traffickers to exploit.”
Tedesco was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Weiler and Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy, supervisor of the Financial Crimes Unit.
The investigation was conducted by the Mount Laurel Police Department, the Westampton Township Police Department, the Prosecutor’s Office and United States Homeland Security Investigations – Cherry Hill Office.
All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.