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Va. man pleads guilty to soliciting 15-year-old for sex, prostitution

Shawn Paisley admitted he helped run an escort service, which involved recruiting women to engage in sex for pay and also helped arrange for prostitutes and customers to meet up while taking a portion of the fees paid for making the arrangements.

ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) -- A Salem man, who believed he was speaking with a 15-year-old girl to engage in prostitution, has pleaded guilty to federal sex-trafficking.

United States Attorney Rick Mountcastle said that Shawn Paul Paisley, 48, was actually speaking online with an undercover Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy.

Paisley waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to one county of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

At his sentencing in the U.S. District Court in Roanoke, he faces a possibly statutory maximum sentence of up to live in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

He also faces a mandatory maximum term of supervised release of five years and a maximum term of life.

Prosecutors said in August 2016, while posing as a 15-year-old girl, a Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy responded to a Craigslist ad posted by Paisley seeking a "personal/casual" encounter. Paisely gave the deputy, who he thought was the teenager, a cell phone number and the two started texting.

During the course of their exchanges, Paisley said he ran an escort service and that his girls made good money.

He then provided standard prices for the services the escorts offered and the two arranged to meet in order for the "female minor" to perform oral sex on Paisley, according to prosecutors.

In court, prosecutors said Paisley left his home in Salem and drove to Franklin County to meet with the teenager, but he was subsequently arrested.

Paisley admitted he helped run an escort service, which involved recruiting women to engage in sex for pay and also helped arrange for prostitutes and customers to meet up while taking a portion of the fees paid for making the arrangements.

In court, Paisley said at least two of the girls he helped recruit were 17-years-old.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for May 25.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Laura Day Rottenborn and Matthew Miller are prosecuting the case for the United States.

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