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Friday, April 25, 2014

Sex trafficker sentenced to over 19 years in prison

On Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in the U.S. District Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona sentenced Chang Ru Meng Backman, 41, of the People’s Republic of China, to 235 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for sex trafficking. Manglona also ordered Backman to pay $9,750 in restitution to the victim.

Following the sentencing, U. S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands Alicia A.G. Limtiaco, stated, “The heinous crime of sex trafficking dehumanizes its victims and involves the exploitation of the vulnerable by those motivated by power and greed. This prosecution, brought through the hard work of the FBI in collaboration with local law enforcement and the CNMI Attorney General’s Office, represents law enforcement’s tireless pursuit of those responsible for the sexual exploitation of women and the commitment to attaining justice for the victims of these horrible crimes.”

“The sentence imposed by the court sends the message that sex trafficking schemes will not be tolerated. We will continue to find traffickers and hold them accountable for their crimes," added Limtiaco.

Backman was convicted of one count of sex trafficking in June 2013, following a jury trial. Backman, who was the “boss-lady” of a bar known as the Holiday Karaoke Club, coerced a vulnerable Chinese woman into having sex with customers of the club for her own financial gain. Backman preyed upon the woman who had been enticed to come to Saipan from China with promises of work as a farm laborer, cleaning person in a hotel, or wait staff in a restaurant. Once the woman arrived, Backman used her debt, lack of legal immigration status, and inability to speak English to compel her to engage in commercial sex acts at Backman’s bar. Backman drove the woman to and from the bar so that the woman could have sex with men at Backman’s direction.

The case was investigated by FBI Special Agent Jaime Prida, and the United States was represented at trial by assistant U.S. attorneys Rami S. Badawy and Ross K. Naughton, and Limtiaco. (USAO)

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