Las Vegas man pleads guilty to human trafficking in Utah
A 31-year-old Las Vegas man pleaded guilty to human trafficking charges on Monday.
Leroy Haley was arrested last August after a prostitution bust in St. George revealed a human trafficking operation in Las Vegas that had victimized a 17-year-old girl.
Haley's trial was expected to start Monday, but the man instead accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to second-degree felony aggravated human trafficking, two counts of third-degree felony exploitation of a prostitute and one charge of third-degree felony assault by a prisoner.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 3 in 5th District Court.
Police say Haley and Francis Uhrhan, 20, had brought a 17-year-old girl from out-of-state, and that the group traveled throughout Utah in a prostitution circuit.
According to charging documents, Haley and Uhrhan acted as pimps to the 17-year-old. An undercover vice detective arranged to meet with Uhrhan and the 17-year-old after their suspected prostitution acts were advertised online under the guise of massage services.
The meeting took place in a St. George motel room and officers swarmed the location after they confirmed that the two were offering sex for money. Uhrhan was arrested, and the 17-year-old was interviewed as a victim. The teen was later taken to a crisis center and released to her legal guardians, police said.
According to court records, the girl told police that she had voluntarily become a prostitute at Uhrhan's urging, but now felt "trapped." She was forced to commit sex acts, the girl told police, and feared to leave the situation because she "did not know what they would do," in reference to Haley and Uhrhan.
Uhrhan allegedly told police that she was the only one of the two who would get paid while the girl was required to "pay back" whatever money she took in, according to court documents. Uhrhan also told police that they had worked as prostitutes in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, charging documents state.
Uhrhan pleaded guilty in January to aggravated exploitation of a prostitute, a first-degree felony, along with misdemeanor prostitution. She was sentenced to a year in jail and 36 months probation, according to court records.