CHICAGO — A 33-year-old man was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges after allegedly arranging an encounter with a 16-year-old girl that ultimately lead to her murder.
Joseph Hazley, of the 6300 block of South Racine Ave., was arrested Wednesday morning on one count of sex trafficking, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison up to a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
After posting information about the girl in "a commercial sex advertisement" on backpage.com, he arranged several meetings for her to engage in prostitution, including an early morning encounter on Christmas Eve when she was murdered, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
On that day, Hazley drove her to a garage in suburban Markham, waited a few yards away in his car and the "customer" then murdered the child during the encounter, the complaint charged.
Hazley appeared in court Wednesday and will remain in custody until a detention hearing Friday at 10:30 a.m.
Before she was murdered, Desiree Robinson, 16, of South Chicago, had been missing for several weeks. Her naked body was found Dec. 24, 2016. She had been beaten, stabbed and strangled, officials said.
Antonio Rosales, 32, has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated sexual abuse in her death.
The pair had sex in a truck, authorities said, and Rosales killed Desiree after she refused to provide a second sexual encounter for free.
The incident occurred in the 16200 block of South Hamlin Avenue, the Tribune reported.
The FBI interviewed cooperating witnesses and customers, reviewed text messages, telephone records and Facebook messages to determine probable cause, the complaint said.
One woman, who Hazley began prostituting under the name "Winter" on Backpage, said Hazley paid for postings on the website using Bitcoins he purchased at a local store, the complaint said.
Winter, 19, averaged 10 to 15 dates per day when she worked for Hazley. While at first he took 50 percent of the pay, he eventually began taking all the funds, checking her text messages and counting the money after the dates to keep tabs on the earnings, the complaint said.
Winter first met Desiree in October and by November she had moved into the home with Hazley. Within a week, Hazley began posting advertisements for Desiree, whom he gave the moniker "Nicki," on Backpage, the complaint said.
Hazley also allegedly had sex with Desiree. On one occasion, Winter walked into the room while they were having sex and Hazley asked her to join in and ordered her to watch when she refused, the complaint said.
After Winter left Hazley, Desiree called her asking her for help leaving Hazley, but Winter never heard from her again. After Desiree's death, Hazley reached back out to Winter to work for him again, the complaint said.
"Now, that she's gone I've got no money coming in," Hazley allegedly said.
When police arrived on the scene of Desiree's murder, Hazley was in a car outside the Markham garage.
Hazley told officers he had taken Desiree earlier that day to work as a dancer at a party. Desiree allegedly later met up with Rosales. Hazley said he fell asleep in his car while she was with Rosales and then woke up and found Desiree's body laying on the ground inside the garage, the complaint said.