Norwich woman to serve 78 months for sex trafficking

A 23-year-old Norwich woman was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 6½ years in prison for sex trafficking of a minor.

Dana Rivera and her former husband, Samuel Rivera, have been in federal custody since they were arrested in November 2012. Samuel Rivera, 23, has pleaded guilty to the same charge and awaits sentencing, according to the office of U.S. Attorney David B. Fein.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Dana and Samuel Rivera arranged for the prostitution of a 16-year-old girl.

The Riveras posted advertisements on Internet sites such as Craigslist and Adult Friend Finder, took calls from prospective customers, booked hotel rooms, and transported the minor victim to and from prostitution calls in southeastern Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, according to a sentencing memorandum. In May and June 2011, the minor victim saw approximately five or six customers a day. The Riveras split the money the victim earned and gave none of it to the victim.

Dana Rivera had a day job working as a home health aide for a brain-damaged patient, according to the documents.

The documents indicate that locally, the victim stayed at Motel 6 in New London, America’s Best Value Inn in Niantic and the Ramada Inn in Mystic. The victim had met the Riveras through a friend. She had previously been the victim of a similar crime by Matthew Lallis, who is serving a nine-year sentence in state prison for sexually assaulting and prostituting the girl.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Stonington Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David E. Novick.

— Karen Florin

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