Woman pleads guilty to her role in prostitution business

March 10, 2021 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts woman authorities say worked for a convicted human trafficker by posting prostitution ads, recruiting women to work as prostitutes, and collecting money from the women has pleaded guilty, federal prosecutors say.

Shannon Yelinek, 36, of Springfield, pleaded guilty in federal court in Springfield on Tuesday to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. She faces a maximum of life in prison at sentencing scheduled for June 4.

Yelinek worked for William Coleman, who ran a prostitution business that took advantage of women with drug dependencies and used violence and threats to coerce the women into engaging in prostitution, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston.

Coleman previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced in September to more than 15 years in prison.

As part of her plea, Yelinek admitted that she posted prostitution advertisements on the internet and arranged meetings between the women and male customers. She also admitted to picking up money from the victims and delivering it to Coleman, delivering drugs to the victims, and while in jail in 2017, recruiting female inmates to work for Coleman