A city woman’s alleged sex trafficking of two minors is the stuff of “nightmares” for parents, the local U.S. attorney said.
Jasmin Osteen, 23, was charged by criminal complaint with two counts of sex trafficking of a minor. The charges are the result of an expansive investigation that began Sept. 23 when the mother and grandmother of a minor contacted the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office to express concern that the minor was involved in prostitution and using drugs. The pair also noted that Osteen may have been trafficking the minor for sexual exploitation.
The mother and grandmother, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a news release Friday, provided screen shots of messages between Osteen and the victim — who began living with one another in August 2020 — that reportedly discussed having sex for money.
The minor obtained housing and services at the Safe House in Jamestown, at which time she advised staff she had been forced to have sex with multiple unknown adults in exchange for money that was then given to Osteen. Staff then advised the New York State Police.
During an interview at the Jamestown Child Advocacy Program, the victim stated that the city woman reportedly took her to Buffalo and other cities and rented hotel rooms for the purpose of having sex in exchange for money. She also stated that during one of these trips to Buffalo, a second minor victim was also forced to engage in sexual activity.
According to the first victim, Osteen allegedly threatened that she would be harmed if she talked. During an interview with investigators, the second victim also stated that Osteen reportedly drove her and the other victim to a Buffalo hotel, gave them alcohol and forced them to have sex for money.
“As alleged in the criminal complaint, this woman exploited two vulnerable young girls for her own financial benefit,” U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said in a statement. “The depravity of the defendant’s conduct and the harm she caused to these two minors are the stuff of which parental nightmares are made. I want to commend the members of federal, state, and local law enforcement, who, working with the tremendous child advocates serving our community, took swift and certain action to rescue these victims and to protect others from this predatory defendant.”
Osteen made an initial appearance Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. and later detained.
“This investigation and arrest are a result of interagency cooperation,” said Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone. “Human trafficking is all too real and continues to victimize too many people. These investigations will continue with the help of our federal, state and local partners. And we continue to ask for the public to report any suspicious activity as this form of slavery cannot continue.”
Added Kevin Kelly, HSI special agent-in-charge, “The egregious acts identified as part of this investigation demonstrated a lack of regard for human life. Homeland Security Investigations is committed to investigating these victim based crimes and bringing to justice those who prey on the most vulnerable in our communities.”
The complaint is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police, the Jamestown Police Department, and the Ellicott Police Department.
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