August 14, by Nathaly Pesantez
The founder of the Long Island City Academy of Music pled guilty to charges in a federal sex-trafficking case last week, according to the office of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District.
Oliver Sohngen was arrested in May and charged with eights counts of sex trafficking and attempted sex trafficking of girls aged eight to 17 after federal agents discovered a series of texts from a Bronx-based pimp that led them to Sohngen. He faces a maximum term of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.
From March 2013 to November 2013, Sohngen was engaged in sexual contact with 15 to 17-year-old girls, which was arranged by the pimp. An undercover NYPD officer posing as a 15-year-old girl was also contacted by Sohngen between November 2015 to January 2016, the criminal complaint reads.
Sohngen would receive notice from the pimp via text whenever he found underage girls for him to have sex with, with the digits of the girls ages switched around to conceal their ages. In one instance, the pimp arranged for Sohngen to have sex with an eight-year-old (described as 80) and a 13-year-old (described as 31), and was instructed to drop them off at a Harlem Chuck E Cheese after taking them to a hotel.
Although Sohngen agreed to pay $1,600 for the eight and 13-year-old, he did not meet with them, but he did pay and have sex with a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old, the two teenagers confirmed.
Photos of the underage girls were posted on backpage.com for review, the criminal complaint said.
Access the full criminal complaint here.