|TRENTON –Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that a Gloucester County woman was sentenced to state prison today for recruiting a 16-year-old girl to engage in prostitution with her in South Jersey and soliciting clients on Backpage.com.
Barbara B. Cantz, 23, of Westville, N.J., was sentenced today to five years in state prison by Superior Court Judge John T. Kelley in Camden County. Cantz pleaded guilty on March 6 to a charge of second-degree conspiracy to facilitate human trafficking.
Deputy Attorney General Cassandra Montalto prosecuted Cantz and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice. Cantz was charged in an investigation by the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Unit, within the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, conducted with assistance from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
The investigation began in April 2016 when the Cherry Hill Police obtained information that the victim was engaging in prostitution with Cantz. They notified the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, which alerted the Division of Criminal Justice. The state’s investigation revealed that Cantz met the 16-year-old runaway in early 2016 and invited the girl to live with her at a hotel in Cherry Hill. Cantz was working as a prostitute and urged the girl to meet men with her and engage in prostitution so they could make money. Cantz had the girl place ads with photos of herself on Backpage.com and another website to solicit clients. Cantz told the girl to advertise the two of them together so that they could make more money. Cantz also asked the victim to provide photos of herself in her underwear, so Cantz could send the photos to prospective clients. Cantz arranged for them to see men together for sex at various locations in South Jersey, making appointments with up to four men in a single day.
“Prison is the right sentence for this defendant, who lured an underage runaway into a life of prostitution,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Our human trafficking law carries tough penalties for those like Cantz who choose to profit by exploiting vulnerable victims.”
“The dual mission of our human trafficking unit is to rescue those who fall victim to this form of modern-day slavery and ensure that those responsible for these crimes are aggressively prosecuted,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We urge members of the public to call our human trafficking hotline if they see a child or teenager in suspicious circumstances.”
Attorney General Porrino and Director Honig urged anyone who suspects human trafficking to call the Division of Criminal Justice’s confidential Human Trafficking Hotline 1-855-END-NJ-HT.
Attorney General Porrino commended Deputy Attorney General Montalto and all of the detectives of who worked on the investigation for the Human Trafficking Unit. Attorney General Porrino thanked the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, particularly Detective Jason Rowello, for their valuable assistance. He also thanked the Westville Police Department for assisting in the arrest of Cantz.
Robert N. Agre, Esq., Agre & Jensen Law, Haddonfield, N.J.
Follow the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office online at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube. The social media links provided are for reference only. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office does not endorse any non-governmental websites, companies or applications.