Dover woman pleads guilty in human trafficking case

Taliesha Haith

DOVER — A 35-year-old Dover woman pleaded guilty to a second-degree promoting prostitution felony Wednesday in connection with what authorities termed a human trafficking case last year.

Taliesha Haith also admitted to second-degree conspiracy count and will be sentenced on Feb. 28 in Superior Court. Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr. accepted the plea ordered a pre-sentence investigation of Haith’s background. The judge noted that she could submit statements and information on her behalf.

A prison term of up to seven years is possible, along with fines. Haith was ordered to register as a Tier II sex offender and have no contact with the alleged victim or co-defendants. With a modified bond, she can contact her three juvenile children.

Standing before the judge, Haith said she entered the plea knowingly and willingly and was adequately represented by attorney Matthew C. Buckworth. She confirmed past statements made to the police and agreed to testify at any possible future trials.

Co-defendant Jason Haith, 19, continued to discuss options with prosecutor Deputy Attorney General Ronald G. Poliquin and his appearance was delayed until today. Co-defendant Donnell Singletary, 33, had his case continued this week.

In May 2017, five arrests were made after the Delaware State Police investigated two 16- and 17-year-old females allegedly being solicited as prostitutes online. Authorities alleged that meetings were orchestrated from the Haith’s home in the 1000 block of East Lebanon Road and conducted at the Capitol Inn in Dover.

Awaiting sentencing next month are Smyrna residents Jessica Hutkin, who pled guilty to human trafficking of a minor and second-degree-conspiracy, and Austin White, who pled guilty to second-degree conspiracy. Ms. Hutkin was 34 years old at the time of arrest in May, and Mr. White was 19.

Prosecuting the case is Deputy Attorney General Periann Doko, the commander of the Delaware Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (Wilmington office), and the Delaware DOJ worked with State Police in the investigation.

Second-degree promoting prostitution is a class E nonviolent felony and is defined as – “Advances or profits from prostitution by managing, supervising, controlling or owning, either alone or in association with others, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business or enterprise involving prostitution activity by two or more prostitutes.

“Advances or profits from prostitution of a person less than 18 years old.”

Second-degree conspiracy is a class G nonviolent felony and occurs “when, intending to promote or facilitate the commission of a felony, the person:
“Agrees with another person or persons that they or one or more of them will engage in conduct constituting the felony or an attempt or solicitation to commit the felony; or

“ Agrees to aid another person or persons in the planning or commission of the felony or an attempt or solicitation to commit the felony; and the person or another person with whom the person conspired commits an overt act in pursuance of the conspiracy.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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