A group of men faced a judge today after they were arrested for allegedly seeking sex from a person they thought was a young girl.
Officers from the Boston Police Department’s human trafficking unit conducted an online sting "in an ongoing effort to combat human trafficking and its harmful effects," police said.
The officers posed online as girls under the age of 18 and were contacted by each of the men throughout yesterday afternoon and evening, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley's office. The men, thinking they were talking to a teenage girl, allegedly agreed to meet up at a downtown hotel to exchange cash for various sex acts.
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Each of the men described the clothing he would wear and provided a phone number. When officers spotted the men, they called the phone number.
All of the phones rang when called by police, Conley's office said.
"Reducing human trafficking also means reducing demand," Conley said. "Anyone who considers buying sex – especially from an underage girl or boy – should remember the physical and emotional damage that are part and parcel of commercial sexual exploitation. If that's not enough, they should also remember that the person on the other end of that email or text message could very well be a Boston Police officer."
Robert Anzalone, 44, of Bellingham, William Barlow, 40, of Boston, Michael Feeney, 20, of Quincy, Ali Houdroge, 46, of Sharon, Richard McIver, 46, of Brockton, and Michael Paquette, 30, of Somerville were charged with seeking sex for a fee and enticement of a person under 18.
Anzalone failed to appear in court today and a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to Conley's office.
The other men pleaded not guilty.