Gaetz associate pleads guilty to sex trafficking charges

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida politician who emerged as a central figure in the Justice Department’s sex trafficking investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz has pleaded guilty to six federal charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as part of a plea deal. Longtime Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg appeared Monday in federal court in Orlando. Greenberg pleaded guilty to charges including sex trafficking of a minor and admitted he paid at least one underage girl to have sex with him and other men. Gaetz was not mentioned in the plea agreement or during the hearing. But Greenberg’s cooperation may escalate the potential legal and political liability the firebrand Republican congressman faces. Gaetz denies any accusation of wrongdoing.