Arlington lawyer charged with sex trafficking minors, producing child porn

A Northern Virginia man is facing charges tied to the sex trafficking of minors, production of child pornography and other commercial sexual exploitation offenses involving young women.

Matthew Erausquin, 46, of Arlington, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday.

He is charged with six counts of sex trafficking of minors, one count of production of child pornography, one count of transporting a person across state lines for purposes of prostitution and three counts of coercion and enticement to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution, according to a Justice Department news release.

Court documents allege the illicit activities happened from June 2017 through at least August 2020.

Erausquin “allegedly used his money and power to sexually exploit minors,” Raj Parekh, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said.

The government said Erausquin met some of the girls on a “sugar daddy” website and a dating app and, in at least one instance, pretended to be an 18 or 19-year-old teenager.

He’s accused of luring the girls into commercial sex arrangements, paying them between $500 to $800 each per sexual encounter and offering to pay at least $1,000 for threesome sexual activity.

Court documents allege Erausquin recorded some of the underage girls without their knowledge while he engaged in sexual activity with them.

He’s accused of engaging in commercial sex with some of the girls after they turned 18 years old too.

After one victim moved out of state, he’s alleged to have flown her back to Virginia for the holidays and paid her for sex.

Erausquin gave the girls marijuana and expensive gifts, such as Tiffany’s purses, according to investigators.

“Erausquin allegedly exploited and abused underage girls without regard for the impact on his victims,” said Albert Murray III, acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division.

If convicted, Erausquin faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life, but actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties, according to the Justice Department.

In a statement to WTOP, his lawyers Frank Salvato and Christopher Amolsch said: “Mr. Erausquin used a well known website that represents it has sophisticated age verification for its users. Unfortunately, it appears the website did not verify the ages of the individuals in question who apparently were untruthful about their true age when posting their profiles.”

The statement added that their client “stands ready to cooperate with law enforcement about this website but to seek a 10 or 15 year mandatory minimum prison sentence for this situation and any accompanying videos seems excessive.”

Erausquin’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 21, but Salvato told WTOP that “may get moved around.”

He was released on a personal recognizance bond.

The government said the case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, with “significant assistance” from the Fairfax County Police Department.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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