STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) – A 35-year-old Sterling Heights man will serve up to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking a minor.
Andrew Golden pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with the sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl. In addition to his prison sentence, Golden must have no contact with the victim, register as a sex offender, and register his DNA.
Golden withdrew a previous guilty plea earlier this year when he was set to be sentenced in April. As a result, the court began a trial on Monday, June 26 — but again a plea preempted the trial from continuing.
“We have had so much activity from our human trafficking unit over the over the past several months, we can make no mistake: Human Trafficking is happening in Michigan,” Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement. “We can’t ignore the crime happening not just in our cities but in our small towns as well.”
Schuette said the case unfolded last December after investigators received a tip from a 15-year-old girl who claimed she was also lured into prostitution by Golden.
The teen told investigators she had been picked up in New Jersey several weeks prior by Golden and the minor victim, Schuette said. Golden allegedly stated that he would be taking the girls to Michigan where they would be advertised online for commercial sex.
The following day, Schuette said, undercover agents with the FBI-led Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes task force responded to an advertisement for the 17-year-old girl on the classifieds website Backpage.com under “adult entertainment: escorts.”
Investigators were led to a Southfield hotel where they rescued the teen and arrested Golden.