A northern Virginia lawyer was indicted Wednesday on charges that he used a “sugar daddy” website to lure underage girls into sex trafficking and paid them with money, lavish gift and drugs, according to the Justice Department.
Matthew Erausquin, 46, allegedly paid six minors and three other young adults for sex between June 2017 and August 2020 after meeting several of the girls on a “sugar daddy” website and dating app, the Justice Department said in a statement.
A Virginia lawyer, Matthew Erausquin, is accused of coercing underage girls into sexual activity as their “sugar daddy,” authorities say: https://t.co/mC7tVVlQ4H
— Heavy.com (@HeavySan) November 23, 2020
Erausquin is listed on the Virginia State Bar directory as an active lawyer with Consumer Litigation Associates in Alexandria. After Erausquin’s 2020 arrest in Miami, the firm took him “off all cases,” the Washington Post reported.
“We are still processing all that we have learned,” the firm told the Post about the arrest of the founding partner. “We are saddened and will remain bewildered now and maybe forever.”
The investigation into Erausquin reportedly began after a 17-year-old high school student told police in Fairfax County that an older man in his 40s had paid her friends for sex, Heavy previously reported. The victims later said the man also gave them drugs.
Using cellphone, credit card and other payment records, investigators linked the allegations to Erausquin, according to Heavy.
Prosecutors say Erausquin, on at least one occasion, pretended to be an 18 or 19-year-old teenager in order to lure one of the girls. The victims were paid $500 to $800 each per sexual encounter with Erausquin, and he offered to pay at least $1,000 for threesomes, according to the Justice Department.
He also paid the underage girls with lavish gifts and drugs, including Tiffany’s purses, which can cost as much as $2,000 each, and marijuana, prosecutors say. (RELATED: Authorities Arrest Family Of 4 For Sex-Trafficking Waitresses Out Of Local Restaurant)
Previous reporting also indicated he bought the victims first-class plane tickets and cameras.
Erausquin also allegedly secretly recorded the sexual encounters with underage girls. After some of the minors turned 18, he continued paying for sex and even flew one victim who had moved out of Virginia back into the state for sex.
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 the Justice Department.
“The defendant allegedly used his money and power to sexually exploit minors,” Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said, according to the statement.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to holding accountable those who prey on and victimize children, and to seeking justice for society’s most vulnerable members.”
If convicted, Erausquin could face a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.