Boston Man Sentenced on Human Trafficking Charges

For Immediate Release November 9, 2017
Contact: Press Office

WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Woburn Chief of Police Robert Ferullo have announced that Charles Steed, 32, of Boston, was sentenced to 7-10 years in State Prison yesterday by Judge Merita Hopkins in Middlesex Superior Court after being found guilty by a Middlesex Superior Court Jury of trafficking of a person for sexual servitude and deriving support from prostitution on Monday, November 6.

On January 12, 2017, Woburn Police responded to an online advertisement for sexual services at a local hotel. Upon arrival, authorities observed two females exit a vehicle and enter the hotel. While the two females met the undercover police officer in the hotel room, the defendant exited the parking lot and drove onto the highway.

Through their investigation authorities learned that over the course of several months the defendant regularly supplied the two females with heroin and cocaine before and after they performed sexual services for a fee with customers. The defendant would then proceed to keep all of the money earned. 

This case was investigated by the Woburn Police Department and Southern Middlesex Regional Drug Task Force.

The prosecutors assigned to this case were Assistant District Attorneys Carrie Spiros and Caitlin Gemmill. The Victim Witness Advocate was Danielle DeMeo.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office is committed to combatting human trafficking through law enforcement and community partnerships. District Attorney Ryan routinely holds trainings for Middlesex County law enforcement officials and health professionals on human trafficking. These trainings include seminars on the Commonwealth’s human trafficking laws, best practices for investigating suspected human trafficking cases and multi-agency coordination protocols to better protect communities. As part of the office’s ongoing efforts to address the opioid epidemic and substance misuse in the Commonwealth, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office has focused on raising awareness about the trauma and abuse that victims of human trafficking are subjected to when traffickers take advantage of a victim's substance misuse disorder in order to profit.

According to the International Labour Organization more than 20 million men, women and children worldwide, including in the United States, are victims of forced labor and sex trafficking. On February 19, 2012, “An Act Relative to the Commercial Exploitation of People” went in to effect in the Commonwealth. The law targets all aspects of the human trafficking chain and also created new crimes, and increased penalties for existing crimes, especially where they involve juveniles. It also provides a broad range of services for victims and facilitates coordinated information sharing among agencies.

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