WORCESTER — Two city men were arraigned Thursday on charges resulting from a state police investigation into allegations that two 17-year-old girls were the victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
Genaro Cabeza, 43, of 20 Sylvan St., was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing next week after being arraigned in Central District Court on charges of rape, sexual conduct with a child under 18 for a fee and furnishing alcohol to a person under age 21.
His co-defendant, Richard Saya, 39, of 203 Belmont St., was held on $50,000 cash bail on charges of trafficking of a person for sexual servitude, sexual conduct with a child under 18 for a fee, and furnishing alcohol to a person under 21.
The crimes allegedly committed by the two men were said to have occurred between May 1 and June 30 of this year.
The two suspects were arrested on warrants issued Wednesday after an investigation by the state police High Risk Victim Unit. According to statements of facts filed in court by Trooper Meghann Benesh, the investigation began in June, after a referral from the state Department of Children and Families, which had concerns that two 17-year-old girls were being sexually exploited.
When interviewed by investigators, the teens said that after running away from home, they met a woman who introduced them to her "pimp," a man they knew only as "Nemo." Both girls stated that "Nemo" would give them money for sex, according to the statement. They also alleged that he forced them to get gang-related tattoos.
On one occasion, one of the girls said, they were taken by "Nemo" to the home of his friend, "Jerry," where one of them was to be paid $100 to have sex with "Jerry," according to the report.
One of the teens said she ended up in a room with "Jerry" after smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. She said she eventually tried to back out of the sex-for-a fee arrangement.
Despite being told she did not want to proceed, "Jerry" allegedly pinned her arms to the bed and had sexual intercourse with her, the girl told investigators. She said she was paid and never saw "Jerry" again, but that he did try to contact her via Snapchat. Both girls said they also communicated with "Nemo" on Snapchat.
State police said they identified Mr. Cabeza as "Jerry" and Mr. Saya as "Nemo" through photo arrays and Snapchat account information obtained by subpoena.
Assistant District Attorney Amanda M. Moran moved for a dangerousness hearing for Mr. Cabeza during his arraignment. Mr. Cabeza was represented by lawyer Robert Iacovelli.
After Ms. Moran gave Judge David B. Locke a summary of the allegations in the case, the judge scheduled the dangerousness hearing for Sept. 18 and ordered that Mr. Cabeza remain in custody without bail until then.
Ms. Moran asked that bail for Mr. Saya be set at $50,000 cash. The prosecutor said Mr. Saya was facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in state prison if convicted of the human trafficking charge.
Mr. Saya's lawyer, Nora Driscoll, said the bail amount requested by the prosecution was well beyond her client's means and asked the judge to set $5,000 cash bail. Ms. Driscoll said Mr. Saya lives with his wife and four children and is a barber by trade.
Judge Locke set Mr. Saya's bail at $50,000 cash and continued his case to Oct. 12.
As requested by Ms. Moran, the judge ordered that in the event that Mr. Saya posts bail he remain under house arrest with GPS monitoring and have no contact with the alleged victims.