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Portland man pleads guilty to sex trafficking

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Portland man pleads guilty to sex trafficking

PORTLAND — A local man waived indictment and admitted Wednesday to taking three women from Maine to Massachusetts to work as prostitutes.

Samuel C. Gravely, 27, pleaded guilty to one count of transportation in interstate commerce for prostitution, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delhanty II said in press release.

Gravely, who has been held without bail since his arrest in October, is scheduled to be sentenced March 6, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

By pleading guilty, Gravely admitted that on March 28 he and a male associate drove three women from Portland to Boston to work as prostitutes. The associate and the three women are not named in court documents. The women are referred to by the letters A, B and C.

“(The) defendant and his associate met and picked up A on Congress (Street) in Portland, then picked up B and C at a motel in Portland,” the prosecution version of events to which Gravely pleaded guilty said. “B and C had pre-existing relationships with (Gravely) and his associate, having previously performed sexual services for clients at the request of the defendant and his associate. After performing such services, B and C turned the money they made over to (Gravely) and his associate.”

Woman A became uneasy when they arrived at a hotel on Huntington Avenue in Boston, according to court documents. B and C told her they worked as escorts.

“When A expressed concern, one of the other women contacted (Gravely), who came back to the hotel room, asked A if she was scared, and asked how she expected to pay for the trip if she was not willing to work,” the prosecution version said.

Once she realized what was expected of her, the woman feigned illness, got away from the others and called police, according to court documents.

Information about whether others have been charged in connection with the Boston trip was not available late Thursday.