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Two NH women face human trafficking, money laundering charges for online escort service

By JAMES A. KIMBLE
Union Leader Correspondent

February 15. 2017 6:08PM


DERRY – Two local women have been charged with human trafficking and money laundering for allegedly operating a multi-state online escort service from their homes.

Sonya Palic, 46, of Manchester and Charlotte Napolitano, 45, of Derry, remained jailed on Wednesday, a day after their arrests were announced by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

Napolitano was arrested by authorities in Derry on Feb. 8. Palic was arrested on the same day in Lexington, Mass., by state police.

Investigators say the two women were operating a website called Chloe’s Companions from their homes. The site has since been shuttered.

About 12 to 15 women were allegedly trafficked through the website at a time, according to investigators. The website provided profiles of the women and a calendar for available dates and locations for each woman.

Nashua defense lawyer Chuck Keefe, who represents Napolitano, denied on Wednesday the state’s description of being a key player in the escort service.

“My client adamantly maintains her innocence at this point,” Keefe said. “She is shocked and saddened to be away from her family at the moment. We look forward to vigorously fighting these charges.”

Prosecutors said that Palic and Napolitano advertised and provided escort services in the Northeast, primarily in Massachusetts, but also in New Hampshire and New York.

Palic and Napolitano allegedly arranged for women to meet with men, either for “in-calls” or “out-calls” at hotels, and to provide commercial sexual services in exchange for cash.

“We allege that these defendants ran an organized and sophisticated criminal enterprise in which they profited personally from trafficking women to sex buyers in our communities,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a released statement.

Women were allegedly trafficked in local cities and towns, but much of the business was conducted in Massachusetts. Those cities include Boston, Braintree, Lexington, Newton and Waltham.

Authorities allege that a large portion of the money from these encounters went to Palic and Napolitano, which they laundered into the business to perpetuate the daily operations of their enterprise.

Napolitano and Palic face charges of trafficking in persons for sexual servitude, deriving support from prostitution, money laundering, and conspiracy to traffic persons for sexual servitude.

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office began an investigation in Sept. 2016 after the matter was referred by the Waltham Police Department.

Prosecutors have obtained an order to have the website taken down in the wake of the investigation.

Palic and Napolitano both pleaded not guilty during their first court appearances. Napolitano was ordered held on $75,000 cash bail. Palic is being held on $100,000 cash bail. Both women are barred from having any contact with the men who were customers of the site, or the women who allegedly worked for them. 

Palic is due back in Concord District Court on March 20 for a probable cause hearing. Napolitano is due back in Concord District Court on March 8 for a probable cause hearing. Prosecutors said the investigation remains ongoing.


Courts Crime Derry Manchester


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