Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle has sentenced Leslie Reio (25, St. Petersburg) to 8 years in federal prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, for engaging in the sex trafficking of minor children. Reio was also ordered to register as a sex offender and to pay restitution to the victims. Reio had pleaded guilty on November 16, 2021.
According to court documents, between March 6 and March 14, 2021, Reio and her co-defendant, Julius Arline, obtained, enticed, and housed two child victims in a St. Petersburg hotel room, forcing them to commit commercial sex acts. The child victims—14 and 15 years old—were rescued after being forced to take sexually explicit photographs of themselves that were used as online advertisements for commercial sex with strangers. The two children were kept in the hotel room where they were provided illegal drugs and forced to participate in a number of sex dates over the eight-day period. After being forced to engage in the sex acts and receiving payment, the child victims were required to give money to Arline and Reio.
Arline, the leader of the organization, was sentenced on June 8, 2022, to 40 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release.
“Predators who hold children captive in hotels and force them to commit commercial sex acts are some of the most vile traffickers,” said HSI Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kristopher Pagitt. “HSI, alongside the St. Petersburg Police Department, are committed to rescuing child victims from these truly disturbed individuals. We will not rest until predators like her are put behind bars and held responsible for their heinous crimes.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force, with substantial assistance from St. Petersburg Police Department and the United States Marshals Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin Claire Favorit.
This case was brought as part of the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force of the Middle District of Florida, which is one of 13 task forces in the country to receive grant funding from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Task Force is a collaboration of local, state, and federal law enforcement agents working together with organizations to detect, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking in the Tampa Bay area. This includes trafficking of minors, forced labor, transnational sex trafficking, and sex trafficking of adults by force, fraud, or coercion. More information about the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force can be found at www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/humantrafficking. Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at www.justice.gov/humantrafficking.
Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.