A Norwalk man is headed to federal prison for 20 years after luring two teenage girls by playing the role of a movie producer.
“He actually said he was from Los Angeles,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman.
Charles Thomas Barbarotta used fraud to convince two minors to engage in commercial sex acts. He told two teenage girls he was a movie producer.
“The promise was he would make them into movie stars albeit pornographic movie stars,” said Herdman.
But, it wasn’t true. Barbarotta used the scheme to induce the teens into performing sex acts with him by saying he was producing a pornographic movie. He plead guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor.
“This is another example of how these predators take advantage of youth through social media,” said Renee Jones, President of the Renee Jones Empowerment Center and Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Law Clinic.
Jones said the youngest sex trafficking victim that has come to her center was just 9-years-old.
“Unspeakable things done to children,” she added.
Both Herdman and Jones stressed again that parents need to know what their children are doing on apps, phones, and social media.
“Be as engaged as you can in your kid's online activity, so many predators want to take advantage of your kids,” said Herdman.
Authorities believe there could be more victims. If you know of possible victims, call the Cleveland FBI at 216-522-1400.