Camden woman gets 6-year sentence for pimping out girl
CAMDEN — A city woman who sexually exploited a girl she met on social media will spend up to six years in jail.
Aja M. Easley, 24, had pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a minor.
The sentence comes a little more than two years after Easley said she had first met the girl online.
Acing U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick said when Easley first met the girl online she told her she was "worried about" her because of a previous assault by the girl's ex-boyfriend. To help take care of her, Easley offered food, money, clothing and shelter.
After arranging to meet her at the Camden Transportation Center, Easley told the girl about a "dating website" that would allow the girl to make money on dates, Fitzpatrick said. Easley went on to meet Aaron J. Gray and Kenneth A. Mertz, who used the internet to get clients willing to pay to have sex with the girl.
Fitzpatrick said they took the girl to a motel in Cherry Hill where Easley took explicit pictures of the girl. Fitzpatrick said Easley used her phone to arrange appointments for the girl at the hotel. He said the girl was told to tell the people who responded to the ad that she was 21 years old. She also told the girl how much time she should spend with the men and how much she should charge. If there were issues, Easley told the girl that Gray would be outside with a gun.
The girl met with several people at that motel that day and split the money she made with the defendants, according to Fitzpatrick. The next day they took the girl to a motel in Mount Laurel where the same events happened.
That night they said they were taking her to Atlantic City where a person had offered $1,200 to spend the night with her. On the way to the city, Fitzpatrick said the defendants let the girl go into a house in Gloucester City, at which point the girl called police.
In addition to the prison term, Easley was sentenced to five years of supervised release.
Gray, 30, and Mertz, 36, were charged with sex trafficking, and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor. Gray was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Gray pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking with a minor in March and was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison. Mertz pleaded guilty to a count of violation of the Travel Act and is scheduled to be sentenced in November.
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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com