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Utica woman pleads guilty to prostituting teenager

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - A Utica woman pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to sex trafficking of a child, U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian said.

Lynette Tilden will be sentenced on July 29. She faces 10 years to life on the charge.

According to authorities, Tilden admitted that in February 2012 she, along with others, prostituted a 16-year-old girl in Broome, Oneida and Onondaga counties, as well as other locations. Officials say Tilden and others photographed the girl in seductive poses and posted the pictures on backpage.com, offering the girl for sex in exchange for money. Tilden and the others also used cell phones to send mass texts offering the teen for sex in exchange for money.

Authorities say Tilden and others transported the girl to hotels, where she was instructed to engage in sex acts and accept money and controlled substances for payment. Tilden and the others benefited financially from prostituting the girl, officials say.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI-Albany Division, New York State Police, Oneida County District Attorney's Office, Utica Police Department and the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center. The investigation concerned a prostitution ring. The Oneida County District Attorney's Office has charged several other defendants with state crimes in connection to the joint investigation.

The investigation is continuing.

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