Defendant forced victims struggling with opioid addictions to prostitute for his profit
Xaver M. Boston, 29, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was convicted yesterday by a federal jury of six counts of sex trafficking and one count of using an interstate facility to promote a prostitution enterprise. The verdict was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray of the Western District of North Carolina, and Special Agent in Charge John Strong of the FBI Charlotte, North Carolina, Field Division. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. presided over the trial.
Evidence presented during the three day trial, including the testimony of three of the four victims identified in the indictment by their initials, revealed that Boston, who served in the U.S. Army as a reserve military policeman, operated an extensive sex trafficking enterprise in the Charlotte area between 2012 and September 2017, except for a brief period when he was deployed overseas. Boston recruited the victims—young women and one teenager who were all struggling with drug addictions—by promising to provide them with a place to live and drugs to feed their addictions. He also falsely promised them a house, car, and other material possessions. Boston then advertised them on Backpage.com for prostitution and collected the proceeds for his own profit.
After recruiting the victims, Boston controlled their supply of highly addictive drugs such as heroin and hydrocodone pills. Without the drugs, the victims would experience excruciating physical and mental pain and withdrawal symptoms. In order to coerce the victims to prostitute, Boston withheld their drugs until after they completed commercial sex acts, and he withheld it as punishment if they failed to turn over all of the prostitution proceeds or otherwise violated his rules.
Evidence presented at trial also showed that Boston used violence to control and coerce the victims on occasion. For example, he choked one victim on multiple occasions, and he punched and slapped others as well. Boston also used a pistol to strike one victim in the face, breaking her nose.
“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. “The Civil Rights Division will continue its vigorous efforts to work with our federal and state partners to hold human traffickers accountable and vindicate the rights of victims.”
“Boston is a predator who ran a criminal enterprise that violated the most basic standards of human decency,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “The defendant preyed on and abused vulnerable young women with the intention of exploiting them for his financial gain, and used violence and drugs to exert his control. My office will continue to prosecute sex traffickers and work with our law enforcement partners to identify those who engage in this illegal, dehumanizing business.”
“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. The FBI devotes a significant amount of resources to help sex trafficking victims recover from the trauma they suffer at the hands of ruthless people like Boston,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina.
After deliberating for seven hours, the jury found the defendant guilty of seven out of nine counts contained in the indictment. Boston is currently in federal custody. 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. A sentencing date has not been set.
The case was investigated by the FBI Charlotte, North Carolina, Field Division with assistance from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimlani M. Ford of the Western District of North Carolina and Trial Attorney Matthew T. Grady of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
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