A young mother was selling sex with her 3-year-old son by her side, according to investigators in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Geidre Ruseckaite, 24, faces multiple charges in Fairfax County, but federal authorities also arrested her in connection with a separate allegation.
The investigation started with an anonymous tip that someone was using the website Backpage.com to advertise juveniles for sex. The information was quickly shared with the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.
"When we do receive information that a juvenile might be trafficked, we respond to that aggressively and immediately," said task force member and Fairfax County detective Bill Woolf.
Investigators started undercover, calling the number in the Backpage ad and posing as a customer. When the woman answered, they heard a child's voice in the background.
Next, they traced the Internet address for the ad to the Crowne Plaza in Herndon, room 245. Inside — what they feared — there was a 3-year-old boy. They also found $3,500 in cash, marijuana and lots of cellphones.
"It's extremely worrisome," said Woolf. "Not only is that child at risk just being in that environment but what that child is being exposed to as well is extremely concerning to us."
The toddler is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Investigators determined the little boy was Ruseckaite's son and that she was not trafficking him.
In Fairfax County she's charged with child neglect, prostitution and keeping a bawdy place.
Federal authorities also had been looking for Ruseckaite. They arrested her Monday, charging her with sex trafficking of a child.
The affidavit in the case reveals Ruseckaite is accused of prostituting a 15-year-old girl at various Northern Virginia hotels and taking her to other cities across the country. She and a 17-year-old girl were bringing in up to $1,500 a day, with proceeds going to Ruseckaite and her boyfriend, court documents revealed. Ruseckaite showed the 15-year-old how to place her own ads and also supplied her with drugs, the affidavit says.
Ruseckaite's boyfriend, Lenny Haskins, who was reportedly serving as pimp for the young women has already pleaded guilty. He will be sentenced Friday.