PLAINFIELD, NJ - Ronald Garris, a 30-year-old from Plainfield, admitted to arranging sexual encounters, or “dates," with a 15-year-old girl in exchange for payment. Garris plead guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court on the count of sex trafficking of a minor. Garris sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 18.

According to the Union County Prosecutor’s office, Garris met the girl at a Best Western Hotel in South Plainfield on June 14, 2013. Garris then recruited the girl to perform sexual favors in exchange for payment. Garris posted an advertisement on backpage.com that contained “explicit photographs of the girl, including her telephone number and the town which she was located.” Garris also admitted that the girl went to the Howard Johnson Express Inn in New Brunswick on the night of June 21, 2013 for “dates” that he arranged.

The count of sex trafficking of a minor is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. It also carries a maximum fine of $250,000. Garris would also have to register as a sex offender.