Central Florida lawyer charged with trafficking teenage girls from Melbourne home

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BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – A central Florida lawyer is accused of forcing teenage girls into prostitution by telling them they have to pay their legal fees and rent to stay at his home, according to the Florida attorney general’s office.

Officials said John Gillespie, 71, ran the human trafficking ring from his Melbourne home and victimized girls as young as 15.

Gillespie was recently arrested on his way from Brevard County to an Orange County hotel room with the intention of paying a 16-year-old girl $ 100 to have sex with him and then d ‘trying to recruit the victim to live in his home, according to a press release mentioned. When the arrest took place on Saturday, records show an undercover agent was posing as a teenage girl.

Authorities said Gillespie would post ads featuring the victims, some of whom lived in his home, on an escort website called SkipTheGames.com. He forced them to stay involved in the trafficking ring by telling them that they owed him legal fees or rent to live in his house and supplying them with drugs before or after meeting the men through the ads, according to him. the files.

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“This behavior of a well-known and experienced lawyer is repugnant. Lawyers take an oath to maintain respect and refrain from offensive personality. These alleged actions insult any lawyer who has a passion to protect the helpless or the defenseless. oppressed, ”Attorney General Ashley said. Moody wrote in a press release. His website says, ‘I’ve never been a prosecutor, always on the good side of the innocent’ – yet he has abused innocent girls and I can’t wait for him to meet a real and ethical prosecutor in my office. statewide in court very soon.

Agents from the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation have said they believe, based on testimony, that Gillespie may have committed these types of crimes over the past 20 years.

Gillespie faces charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, and human trafficking of a minor.

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Officials said a co-conspirator, Mark Featherman, was arrested for racketeering, conspiracy to racketeering and unlawful use of a two-way communications device. His connection to the alleged crimes was not immediately disclosed.

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