October 11, 2023
NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was convicted today of four counts of persuading, inducing, and enticing women to travel in interstate commerce to engage in prostitution, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Jose Torres, 45, was convicted of all four counts of a second superseding indictment following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Newark federal court.
According to the documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
From May 2015 to October 2019, Torres persuaded, induced and enticed female victims, often commercial sex workers, to travel from out of state locations, including Canada and New York, to engage in prostitution with him. In each instance, Torres trolled prostitution websites and targeted out-of-state sex workers. He lured them to New Jersey with promises of large sums of payment. Once the women were in New Jersey, Torres refused to pay them. When the victims asked for payment, Torres became aggressive, often assaulting and raping them.
Each charge of coercion and enticement carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2024.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, and special agents of Homeland Security Investigations Newark, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Kurtz, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emma Spiro and Shawn Barnes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.
Counsel: David Schafer Esq., Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and Linwood Jones Esq., East Orange, New Jersey
Past FBI Press Release:
August 14, 2020
The FBI, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, is asking for the public’s assistance to identify potential victims of an alleged sexual predator who hired sex workers and physically raped, assaulted, terrorized, and/or cheated the unsuspected parties.
Jose Torres, a 43-year-old, is currently in federal custody and charged with four counts of coercion and enticement in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Torres has travelled frequently throughout the years and is suspected to have committed these offenses throughout the country, to include New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, and California. Torres has been preying on sex workers for over 10 years and is believed to have numerous victims. Torres would locate his victims by utilizing various sex worker websites, including EROS, Erotic Monkey, Tryst, Backpage, etc. From there, he would entice them to meet by offering large sums of money and groom his victims towards engaging in sex trafficking activities at his direction or command. Most of his meetings would require the sex worker to travel interstate, many times at their own expense.
If you believe you may have been victimized by Jose Torres, or he has solicited your services, please email ReportJOT@fbi.gov. Your response is voluntary but would be useful in the federal investigation to identify you as a potential victim. Based on the response provided, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information.
The FBI is legally mandated to identify victims of federal crimes that it investigates and provide these victims with information, assistance services, and resources.