In 2009, Melissa Halstrom was convicted of taking money from prostitutes and inducing prostitution of minors and sentenced to serve six to eight years in prison. Halstrom allegedly arranged for three teenage girls to have sex with men for money and would split the money with the girls.
Halstrom, the mother of a teen herself, appealed her conviction on the grounds that she had been unclear what the word "induce" meant. But on Friday, the Supreme Judicial Court rejected her appeal, saying it was unreasonable to suggest Halstrom did not understand the charges she was facing.
"The defense suggested that the proposition that the girls misunderstood their roles was disingenuous at best, particularly in light of the nature of the photographs taken and displayed on the Internet," the ruling reads. "Halstrom provided the girls with hotel names and keys, gave them drugs, took them to the hotels, paid for the rooms, and took $100 of the $300 charged per hour by each girl."
Anthony Gorgoglione Jr., a friend of Halstrom's, was also convicted of helping Halstrom operate her business, inducing prostitution of minors and taking erotic photos of the girls to promote them on the business's website.
"In addition to taking the photographs, Gorgoglione also transported the girls to the hotels, and discussed their dates with them," the ruling reads.
So, the SJC concluded, there was ample evidence to prove Halstrom and Gorgoglione directed the girls to have sex for money, so the conviction for inducing prostitution of minors was legitimate.