NEW BERN – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that on February 1, 2018, Samuel DeWayne Doolittle, 33, of Erie, Pennsylvania, was sentenced by United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan for interstate transportation for prostitution and use of the internet to promote an unlawful business enterprise, namely, prostitution. Judge Flanagan sentenced Doolittle to 135 months’ imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release. Judge Flanagan also ordered Doolittle to pay $52,900 in restitution to the victims.
Doolittle was charged in a seven-count indictment on September 8, 2017, and pleaded guilty to two counts on October 17, 2018.
From early April until June 5, 2016, Doolittle prostituted two victims and other women throughout the eastern United States. Doolittle enticed the victims by false promises of financial reward, then took virtually all the money they earned and controlled them through violence, emotional abuse, and manipulation. Among other tactics, Doolittle would not let victims eat or sleep without his permission, forced them to meet financial quotas, and threatened them if they disobeyed him. Ultimately one victim fled and contacted law enforcement while being prostituted in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Doolittle was arrested.
Mr. Higdon stated: “We are very grateful for the sentence handed down by the Court on this matter. The trafficking of human beings – and make no mistake, that is exactly what this was – is one of the most outrageous and shocking crimes we prosecute. The women that this defendant trafficked were terrorized and victimized day after day after day as he manipulated them through violence, emotional abuse and by depriving them of any independent means of support. And the eleven year sentence imposed by the Court reflects the awful nature of this crime. Sadly, there are many of these cases and we are committed to aggressive investigation and prosecution wherever we find them.”
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Fayetteville Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.