LONG ISLAND CITY — The director of a music school is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to sex trafficking charges, following his arrest in May for having sex with minors and attempting to pay for sex with girls as young as 8.
Oliver Sohngen, 52 — identified on his LinkedIn page as director of the Long Island City Academy of Music in Court Square, which appears to have shuttered since his arrest — pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, according to a spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office.
He's scheduled be sentenced on Nov. 27 and faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life behind bars after paying a pimp to arrange sexual encounters with underage girls, as well as for having sex with minors on at least two occasions, prosecutors said.
Between March and November of 2013, Sohngen used the aliases "Helmuth Moss" and "Stephan Weierbach" to exchange text messages with a pimp in order to procure sex with underage girls ranging in age from 8 to 17 years old, according to a criminal complaint.
During one such exchange, Sohngen attempted to arrange an encounter with a 16-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl, with the pimp asking him to drop the girls off at a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant afterwards because that's where their families believed they would be.
Sohngen ultimately had sex with at least two minors — girls ages 15 and 17 — at the pimp's apartment on Davidson Avenue in The Bronx, according to the complaint.
His attorney did not immediately return a call for comment on Monday.
The Long Island City Academy of Music, on 23rd Street between 44th Road and 44th Avenue, was founded in 2010 "to address the area’s growing desire for music education of the finest quality," according to its website.
A message left at the school's list phone number was not returned Monday, and a Yelp page for the business now lists it as closed.