April 12, 2012

Man pleads guilty to prostitution-related charge in Waterman case

Megan Waterman of Maine was killed in New York after ex-boyfriend Akeem 'Vybe' Cruz transported her there.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

NEW YORK — A New York man has pleaded guilty in federal court to transporting a Scarborough woman to New York for prostitution. The woman later was found dead on a stretch of Long Island shoreline along with nine other bodies.

Megan Waterman disappeared during the first weekend of June in 2010. She was last seen at a Holiday Inn Express in Hauppauge, N.Y., on Long Island.

Her body was found on Dec. 3, 2010, wrapped in burlap.

Akeem "Vybe" Cruz, Waterman's former boyfriend, was with her on the night she disappeared. He recently has been in the Maine Correctional Center in Windham on a drug charge.

Cruz has not been charged in her death, although family members say he bears some responsibility for drawing her into a risky lifestyle.

Police suspect a serial killer in the deaths of the 10 people whose bodies have been found, but they have not identified any suspects.

Police, seeking to seize Cruz's laptop computer, submitted court papers saying that Cruz arranged for several women to work as prostitutes, advertising their services online on Craigslist in multiple states.

Cruz admitted Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn that he transported women from Maine to New York so they could meet clients for sex. Transporting women across state lines for prostitution is a more serious charge than the state charge of promotion of prostitution.

Cruz now faces as much as four years in prison. His sentencing has not been scheduled.

Waterman's aunt, Elizabeth Meserve, worked to keep attention on Cruz, for fear that he might finish his drug sentence and walk free. She worried that Waterman's daughter, Liliana, would have to grow up knowing that someone who might have contributed to her mother's death was never charged.

"It's a kind of victory," Meserve said Wednesday of Cruz's plea.

Cruz has declined repeated requests for interviews.


Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at dhench@pressherald.com


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