First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that Larrien Brown-Austin, 37, of Canton, Ohio, was sentenced on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, by U.S. District Judge Pamela A. Barker to 15 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and ordered to pay a $5,000 special assessment fine and $1,885 in restitution to victims. Judge Barker pronounced the sentence after Brown-Austin pleaded guilty to participating in a sex trafficking conspiracy that forced victims to perform sex acts in exchange for money.
“This defendant targeted vulnerable victims and exploited their drug dependency all in an attempt to make money and feed his own heinous and selfish wants,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler. “Human trafficking is an insidious crime, and law enforcement will use every means available to ensure that these traffickers face justice.”
“Identifying, investigating, and apprehending sex trafficking offenders is a critical part of our mission,” said Cleveland FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Philip Frigm, Jr. “The sentence handed down today reflects the tireless effort of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to examine criminal enterprises operating within our communities and bring to justice those who endanger public health and safety. The FBI commends the work of our investigating and prosecuting partners to protect our neighborhoods for law-abiding citizens and remove these offenders from our communities who prey on vulnerable people.”
According to court documents, from June through August of 2018, Brown-Austin lived at a residence in Canton provided by his father that he used to facilitate commercial sex acts. In June of 2018, Brown-Austin met Victim #1 and Victim #2 and forced both victims to live at the residence, perform sex acts in exchange for money and provide him with the profits.
Court records state that Brown-Austin supplied his victims with drugs in an attempt to foster an addiction and withdrawal dependency cycle that forced them to rely upon him for more drugs. Documents show that Brown-Austin used force, threats, acts of violence and leveraged the drug dependency of his victims to coerce them into performing additional commercial sex acts. Brown-Austin also kept a mobile tracking application on the cell phones of his victims in order to determine their whereabouts at all times.
Also charged in this matter as co-defendants are Shannon Marzano and Larry Brown-Austin both of Canton. Marazano and Larry Brown-Austin have both previously pleaded guilty and have been sentenced for their roles in the scheme.
This case was investigated by the Canton FBI, Canton Police Department and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol M. Skutnik.
EYES ON TRAFFICKING
This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
ABOUT PBJ LEARNING
PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials online course is being used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to a potential victim. Their online human trafficking course is available for use on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.
More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.