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Indictments allege three Watertown women promoted prostitution

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WATERTOWN — Three city women have been named in indictments unsealed Wednesday in Jefferson County Court alleging they promoted prostitution, including one woman who is alleged to have forced another into the activity.

Jessica L. Miner, 31, of 515 Bradley St., Kimberly J. Chisam, 35, of 310 William St., and Brandi L. Gallo, 33, of 419 Lincoln St., are each charged with third-degree promoting prostitution, alleged to have profited from the prostitution of at least three females, including a 17-year-old girl.

Ms. Miner also faces two counts of sex trafficking and single counts of second-degree kidnapping, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, second-degree promoting prostitution and third-degree attempted promoting prostitution. It is alleged that in October she abetted another person who intentionally advanced or profited from prostitution by using force to compel two female victims to engage in prostitution by instilling in the victims fear that they would be unlawfully imprisoned if they did not comply.

It further is alleged that she held one of the women in a place where she was not likely to be found and that she restricted the woman’s movements by moving her from one place to another while she forced her to engage in prostitution. The indictment also alleges that she aided an attempt to profit from the prostitution of a 17-year-old girl.

Ms. Chisam additionally is charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child, alleged to have profited from the prostitution of the 17-year-old in February and to have permitted the girl to remain in a place where sexual activity was occurring by renting a hotel room for the purpose of forcing the youth to work as a prostitute.

It is alleged that Ms. Gallo promoted prostitution by controlling a business involving prostitution by two or more women.

Each of the women pleaded not guilty to the charges at arraignment in County Court. All three were sent to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building on bail, with Judge Kim H. Martusewicz setting Ms. Miner’s bail at $20,000 and both Ms. Chisam’s and Ms. Gallo’s at $10,000.

On Monday, an open indictment was handed up charging Joseph D. Coplin, 32, whose last known address was 661 Factory St., with two counts of second-degree promoting prostitution and single counts of sex trafficking, first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child and first-degree perjury. It is alleged that on Feb. 20 he intentionally advanced or profited from prostitution by unlawfully giving a 17-year-old girl, working as a prostitute, cocaine “with the intent to impair her judgment.”

It also is alleged that he profited from prostitution by controlling a business involving prostitution activities by two or more women. It is further alleged that he permitted the teenage girl to enter or remain in a place where sexual activity was being conducted by renting her a hotel room for the purpose of her prostitution work. He also is alleged to have lied to a grand jury investigating the matter April 30.

Ms. Miner also is facing an indictment handed up in March charging her with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. It is alleged that she was a passenger in a vehicle stopped Jan. 17 in Watertown by the Metro-Jeff Drug Task Force based on a search warrant. The task force said at the time that it seized 187 envelopes of heroin with a street value of $5,610, and $4,076 in cash.

Ms. Gallo is an ex-convict, having been sentenced in County Court in June 2011 to two years in state prison after violating her probation imposed for a fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana conviction.

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