Operation Cross Country was a three day undercover venture that involved Massachusetts towns including Saugus and Malden. The target of the investigation was teenage sex trafficking. In Massachusetts alone three pimps and several other people were arrested for Pimping, Prostitution and Drug Charges. A high level local law enforcement described the young prostitutes as victims, not criminals. The operation was designed to locate and protect young prostitutes, to get them off of the streets and to essentially rescue them. The investigation involved over two thousand agencies nationwide. In all, seventy nine child prostitutes were rescued and over one hundred pimps were arrested. Locally, Dion Dottin of Medford and Jonathan Brown of Boston were arrested and charged with Deriving Support from Prostitution and Trafficking Persons for Sexual Servitude. Both were arraigned in the Lynn District Court.
Massachusetts Sex Crimes Defense Law Firm
Earlier this year the Massachusetts Legislature passed into effect the Human Trafficking - - Sexual Servitude law. The statute, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 50 states that anyone who knowingly subjects someone else to engaging in commercial sexual activity or causes someone to engage in such activity is guilty of the crime of Human Trafficking. The crime is a felony. A conviction of this crime requires a five year mandatory minimum state prison sentence. If the victim is under eighteen years of age there is a potential life sentence after a conviction. This law became effective on February 19, 2012 and to date there are no Massachusetts appellate cases discussing this statute or in any way interpreting its meaning.
Human Trafficking is a problem worldwide. It involves the harbouring, transportation, transfer, coercion, abduction and general sexual exploitation of prostitutes or others. There is an undertone of coercion associated with this crime. The crime can essentially be broken down into three elements, the act (i.e. recruitment, transportation, etc.), the means (essentially coercion) and the purpose (sexual exploitation, particularly prostitution). From the perspective of a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer it will be interesting to see how district attorneys will distinguish this law from the prohibition against Deriving Support from a Prostitute, a violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 7 which has a two year mandatory, less than half of the Human Trafficking requirement. The crimes appear similar in nature and from a factual perspective they are virtually indistinguishable. When for instance would the crime of Deriving Support from a Prostitute not involve recruitment, a form of force and sexual exploitation. It will be interesting to see if Deriving Support from Prostitution is considered a lesser included offense of Human Trafficking.