MELBOURNE, Florida – Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the arrest of a Central Florida attorney for human trafficking a minor and exchanging legal representation for sex with victims as young as 15-years-old.
According to an investigation by the Orlando Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, 71-year-old John Gillespie operated a prostitution ring out of his residence in Melbourne, Florida.
Authorities recently arrested Gillespie after he traveled from Brevard County to Orange County to allegedly have sex with a 16-year-old for $100 and planned to recruit the victim to live at his residence.
“This behavior from a well-known and experienced attorney is repulsive,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said.
“Attorneys swear an oath to maintain respect and to abstain from all offensive personality. These alleged actions insult all attorneys who have a passion to protect the defenseless or oppressed.”
The investigation revealed that Gillespie posted ads of several girls who lived in and out of the defendant’s residence on an escort website called SkiptheGames.com.
Gillespie then held leverage over the girls by keeping them in debt for legal fees, rent for staying at his residence or for drugs provided before or after dates set with men through the posted ads.
Attorney General Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.
Gillespie faces charges on racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and human trafficking of a minor.
Authorities also arrested Gillespie’s alleged co-conspirator, Mark Featherman, on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and unlawful use of a two-way communications device.
“His website states ‘Never been a prosecutor, always on the right side of the innocent’—yet, he has been abusing innocent girls and I look forward to him meeting a real and ethical prosecutor from my Office of Statewide Prosecution in court very soon,” Moody added.