A North Carolina man has been convicted of several sex crimes by a federal jury in Charlotte. The man, age 31, was accused of federal crimes including sex trafficking and pimping, according to official sources. The federal jury debated for just about two hours before convicting the man. He was found guilty on counts of kidnapping, producing child pornography, witness tampering and promoting prostitution.
Authorities say that the defendant had been operating a large sex trafficking ring in Charlotte for about three years when he was arrested in November 2013. The man as accused of using websites to recruit local girls -- some as young as 16 -- to his sex-for-pay scheme. He allegedly promised the girls that they would be included in a family and enjoy a generally better life.
Instead, it appears that the defendant mistreated the young women, even going so far as to kidnap and brutally beat one of the girls in his operation. He was accused of shoving that girl in the trunk of his vehicle, transporting her to his home and restraining her before assaulting her. That young woman was eventually able to escape, and she sought help at a nearby home. The defendant was accused of intimidating witnesses into submitting false information about the kidnapping.
Sentencing has still not occurred in this matter. The defendant could receive a life sentence in prison if convicted -- the statutory maximum. Federal defendants are not afforded the possibility of parole, and they only qualify for modest reductions in sentences because of good behavior. Those accused of federal crimes should take such factors into account when choosing to pursue a jury trial over a plea agreement.
Source: NBC Charlotte, "'Violent', 'inhumane' Charlotte sex trafficker convicted" Aug. 11, 2014