A new subpoena from a Florida grand jury investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for allegedly engaging in the sexual trafficking of an underage girl has revealed a new suspect who is also believed to have been involved in “commercial sex acts: with minors, according to a new report from Politico: Joe Ellicott, a close friend and former employee of Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg, who pleaded guilty to several crimes on Monday and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors:
“Nicknamed ‘Big Joe,’ Ellicott was listed in a federal grand jury subpoena sent to a different individual and obtained by POLITICO. The subpoena also lists Gaetz and two friends of his, including former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, who has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors as they examine whether the congressman had sex with a 17-year-old and paid her for it in 2017.
“The Dec. 28, 2020 subpoena states that the grand jury is investigating alleged crimes ‘involving commercial sex acts with adult and minor women, as well as obstruction of justice’ and seeks any communications, documents, recordings and payments the individual had with Ellicott, Gaetz and Greenberg from January 2016 until now.”
That same subpoena also indicates the direction investigators are going in as the probe into criminal acts expands. And it reveals exactly what sort of evidence is being sought as a part of the probe: “Documents, video recordings and communications.”
Ellicott has also been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. A complaint was filed against him while he was employed at the Seminole County tax office. A woman sent a letter to the office in August of 2019 alleging that Ellicott had made numerous inappropriate sexual remarks to her. Those included “how much he wants sex from young women,” and “how he uses women sexually when they are in desperate situations such as a young student or a single mom.”
According to Travis R. Hollifield, an attorney for the woman who accused Ellicott of making those remarks, his client settled three months later for $40,000:
“I can only speculate they had an interest in ensuring this didn’t end up in the press. At the time, there was negative press swirling around that office.”
Gaetz continues to deny he did anything wrong or engaged in sex with underage girls, maintaining that all of the women he has dated or had sex with were 18 or older.
If convicted of sexually trafficking a minor, Gaetz could be facing life in prison under the federal sentencing guidelines.
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