LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls woman was arraigned Wednesday in Niagara County Court on an indictment that accuses her of recruiting a 15-year-old girl to work as a prostitute in the defendant’s home, and of having sex with the girl herself.
Jessica Carli, 28, of 80th Street, pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking, second-degree promoting prostitution, promoting and possessing a sexual performance by a child, and two counts each of third-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child. The trafficking charge, the most serious in the indictment, carries a 25-year maximum sentence upon conviction.
From August through October, Deputy District Attorney Holly E. Sloma said, Carli allegedly posted ads on the Craigslist website using naked photos the 15-year-old had supplied at Carli’s request. Customers allegedly had sex with the girl and Carli at the defendant’s home.
Sloma said Carli is a heavy drug user and introduced the girl to crack cocaine. Sloma said she wouldn’t object if Carli’s bail was reduced from $100,000 to $25,000 as long as Carli went directly to an inpatient drug treatment facility if she is released from jail. County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas went along with that idea.