CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTW/AP) - A U.S. Army reservist accused of running a sex trafficking enterprise in North Carolina has been convicted by a federal jury.
The Department of Justice said in a news release Friday that 29-year-old Xaver M. Boston of Charlotte was found guilty of six counts of sex trafficking and one related charge.
The news release says Boston served in the U.S. Army as a reserve military policeman.
Prosecutors say Boston's four victims were all struggling with opioid addictions, and he promised them drugs and a place to live. They say he then advertised them for prostitution, collected the proceeds for himself and used drugs to coerce them.
Boston is in custody and will be sentenced later. Each sex trafficking charge carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.
During the trial, three victims revealed that Boston operated an extensive sex trafficking scheme in the Charlotte area from 2012 to September of 2017.
“The defendant in this case preyed upon young vulnerable women, exploiting their drug addictions and forcing them to engage in prostitution for his own profit,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Gore.
In order to coerce the victims into prostitution, Boston would withhold their drugs, causing them to go into excruciatingly painful withdrawal periods, officials said.
Other evidence at the trial showed Boston also resorted to violence to control his victims. In one case he used a pistol to hit one victim in the face, breaking her nose.
“Xaver Boston promised his victims a better life, instead, he robbed them of their civil rights and freedom to make a profit, now he will pay the price," said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina.
Boston was found guilty of six counts of sex trafficking and one count of using an interstate facility to promote a prostitution enterprise.
He has not yet been sentenced. Each sex trafficking charge carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life, mandatory restitution and a $250,000 fine.
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