Groton man serving time for sex trafficking

U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on Thursday sentenced a 23-year-old Groton man to 78 months of imprisonment, followed by seven years of supervised release, for arranging the prostitution of a 16-year-old girl.

Samuel Rivera and his former wife, Dana Rivera, had both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. The wife was sentenced in May to 78 months in prison. According to the government, 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.

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 FBI with the assistance of the Stonington Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David E. Novick.

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