A Burlington County man pleaded guilty to forcing a 17-year-old girl into prostitution.
His girlfriend previously pleaded guilty in the case.
Christopher White, 20, of Eastampton, and Adria Regn, 28, of Mount Holly, used nude photos of the girl to advertise “escort” services on Backpage.com, according to the charges.
The girl came to a hotel in Burlington County thinking she was going to baby sit for Regn’s two young children, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.
Instead, White and Regn gave her drugs, including crystal methamphetamine and marijuana, and told her that she needed to work for them so they could make money>
They said that if she did not work for them, it would be her fault if Regn’s children ended up on the street.
During a three- or four-day stay at a motel in Wrightstown, White and Regn made the victim have sex with at least five men each day.
“White brutally exploited his young victim – threatening her with violence, ordering her to take drugs, and forcing her to engage in sexual activity with five or more men a day,” Grewal said. “This guilty plea ensures that he will serve a lengthy prison sentence for the terrible harm he inflicted on a very vulnerable girl. These investigations are a top priority. Our goal is to rescue victims of human trafficking and bring those responsible to justice.”
The investigation began when the victim fled while the couple was sleeping, and she told authorities that the couple forced her to work as a prostitute for 10 days in October 2016 at various motels where they lived in Burlington County.
She said White threatened to beat her if she did not take crystal meth, and he also threatened to find her and beat her if she did not continue to work for them as a prostitute.
The investigation found that White and Regn would stay in the same room as the victim or an adjoining room, then would arrange for clients to meet her for sex. They collected all of the money paid by the clients. The victim did not receive money.
“Our Human Trafficking Unit will continue to work with law enforcement partners throughout the state to rescue victims of human trafficking and ensure that those responsible for these deplorable crimes are aggressively prosecuted,” said Elie Honig, director of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We urge anyone who sees a child or teenager in suspicious circumstances to call our confidential human trafficking hotline.”
Under the plea agreement, he faces 13 years in state prison, including five years without parole, when he is sentenced April 6.
While will also be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life
Regn faces five years in prison. Her sentencing is set for April 13.
“I am thankful that these defendants have been held accountable for their depraved actions,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said. “We look forward to continuing to work the Attorney General’s Office and our law enforcement partners to rescue victims of human trafficking and prosecute those who commit these horrible crimes.”
Anyone who suspects human trafficking is urged to call the Division of Criminal Justice’s Human Trafficking Hotline 1-855-END-NJ-HT.