CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago man was arrested Wednesday on a federal sex trafficking charge of a girl who was murdered by a customer.
Joseph Hazley, 33, allegedly arranged a “commercial sex encounter” for a 16-year-old girl that ended in the child’s murder in a south suburban garage on Christmas Eve.
Hazley posted the girl’s information on commercial sex advertisements on Backpage.com, and arranged multiple meetings in December 2016 for her to engage in prostitution, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
The complaint states that Hazley drove the girl to several meetings in the Chicago area, including an encounter in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve in a garage in south suburban Markham.
The customer allegedly murdered the girl.
32-year-old Antonio Rosales was charged with the murder of 16-year-old Desiree Robinson. Prosecutors said Rosales admitted to killing her because he didn’t have enough money for a second sexual encounter with her.
“The defendant admitted that he had no money for a second encounter, and he tried to negotiate an additional free 15 minutes,” said Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Spokeswoman Tandra Simonton. “The victim refused his offer and insulted him. Afterward, he punched her in the face and strangled her as she tried to call for help.”
Simonton said an autopsy showed Desiree Robinson was strangled, cut and beaten.
Hazley drove Robinson to Markham, after Rosales responded to the Backpage.com posting and wanted to arrange a meeting on Christmas Eve; Hazley waited in his car a few yards from the garage while the girl met with the customer, the complaint states.
Hazley was arrested Wednesday morning. The complaint charges him with one count of sex trafficking. The charge is punishable by a minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.
“The arrest of Joseph Hazley today should send a strong and clear message to all of the individuals who knowingly encourage and make money off the disgusting activity of sex trafficking minors that we will not stand back and allow this behavior to continue,” said Gina Arquilla DeBoni, Managing Attorney, Romanucci & Blandin, LLC. “We commend the FBI for their tremendous actions and will uphold our commitment to making sure this egregious behavior stops and that those responsible are brought to justice by continuing our pursuit of the website Backpage.com which knowingly hosts an online marketplace to profit from the sex trafficking of children, coaches sex traffickers how to develop ads so they can avoid detection by law enforcement, and profits from this activity.”
“Today’s arrest marks a new chapter in our mission to serve justice for Desiree,” said Yvonne Ambrose, mother of Desiree Robinson. “Our family continues to struggle daily with the loss of Desiree, a loving daughter and friend who became victimized by people, a business and a system with no regard for young lives. We are grateful to the FBI and cannot thank them enough for their honorable efforts on behalf of Desiree.”
If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.