PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence man — the first arrested under a new law that created tougher punishments for sex trafficking — has now pleaded guilty to one count each of federal sex trafficking and possession of child pornography charge.
Dujuan Harris, 35, entered the guilty plea at U.S. District Court in Providence Tuesday. He admitted he befriended a 17-year-old girl from Texas, communicating with her by cell phone and online, and trafficking her to Rhode Island in June, paying for the girl to travel to Boston.
He then picked the girl up and brought her to Providence, repeatedly offering her for commercial sexual activity.
Harris posted photos of the girl in various stages of undress in an ad on Backpage.com.
Response to the ad was immediate, said U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha in a statement Wednesday. All of the payments were turned over to Harris.
“When Harris told the young woman he wanted to increase the number of sexual encounters as a way to increase the amount of money she was earning, the young woman told Harris she no longer wanted to participate,” Neronha said.
Harris kept the girl from using her cell phone, and on several occasions kept her from leaving his apartment.
After police and the Human Trafficking Task Force found the girl on June 30, Harris was arrested and held at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston.
Despite a court order to not contact the victim, Harris has contacted her more than 100 times, Neronha said.
Harris will be sentenced March 4, 2016. Under a new law that took effect in 2015, Harris will face a maximum of 50 years in prison and a $40,000 fine.