Man Found Guilty in Prostitution Case Involving Maine Women
A Massachusetts man accused of taking two women and a girl from Portland to Boston to prostitute them has been found guilty of federal crimes, following a four-day jury trial in Portland.
United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that 28-year-old Fritz Blanchard of Boston was found guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court of aiding and abetting the interstate transportation of women for prostitution.
According to evidence presented at the trial, on March 27, 2013, Blanchard and 27-year-old Samuel Gravely caused 2 women, one from Presque Isle and the other from Portland, to engage in prostitution at a Portland hotel, advertising their services online.
The following day, Blanchard and Gravely drove the two women, and a minor, from Portland to Boston intending that they work as prostitutes there. Prosecutors said Blanchard took the two women to a downtown street in Boston and instructed them how to attract customers. The girl, meanwhile, feigned illness and separated herself from the others to call police.
Blanchard faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Gravely, of Portland, pleaded guilty in November 2013 to interstate transportation of women for prostitution. He faces a similar sentence.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Boston Police Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Portland, Presque Isle, Old Town, Brunswick and Saco Police Departments; the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency; and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.