Boston, MA

Boston Man Convicted in Harrowing Human Trafficking Case of Maine Woman

Rachel Perkins

In a significant ruling, Ricardo Middleton, a 32-year-old Boston man, has been found guilty of sex trafficking a Maine woman, marking a major step in the fight against human trafficking.

The Case and Conviction

Middleton's conviction was announced Friday in U.S. District Court in Maine by the U.S. attorney’s office. He was found guilty of trafficking a 25-year-old South Portland woman, using extreme methods of coercion including drugs, lies, intimidation, violence, and rape. The prosecution highlighted how Middleton exploited the woman's heroin addiction, forcing her into sex work for his profit.

Details of Abuse and Coercion

During a three-day period in November 2015, Middleton, along with co-defendants Sherry Jones of Dorchester, Massachusetts, and Mathew Thatcher of Scarborough, subjected the woman to a series of abuses across Maine and Massachusetts. Middleton's cruel treatment of the woman included physical and sexual violence, deprivation, and humiliation. This summary of testimonies, provided by the U.S. attorney’s office, paints a disturbing picture of the victim's ordeal.

Statements from Legal Authorities

U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee emphasized the priority of prosecuting human trafficking in Maine, condemning the dehumanizing acts committed by Middleton. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division also remarked on the case, applauding the survivor's bravery in coming forward and reaffirming the commitment to prosecuting such crimes.

Guilty Pleas and Upcoming Sentencing

Before the trial, co-defendants Jones and Thatcher pled guilty to related charges. Middleton now faces a minimum of 15 years to life in prison, with a judge set to determine his sentence based on U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutes.

A Call for Public Vigilance

The Justice Department continues to urge anyone with information related to human trafficking to come forward, as part of the collective effort to combat this heinous crime and support the survivors.

Source: Bangordailynews.com

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I'm an avid reader and writer. I spend most of my time in Florida and Maine and write about the unique qualities that make each of them so special as well as news that makes an impact on our community.

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