The defendant, 34 year old Michael Smith was indicted by a Suffolk County Grand Jury on 1 count of kidnapping. He was arraigned in the Suffolk Superior Court and held on $250,000 bail. The prosecution alleged that in June the victim met Smith at a motel. She had placed an advertisement on the internet soliciting customers for sex. The defendant responded purportedly as a customer. He then told the woman that he would be taking her to New York to work as a prostitute for him. Over the next week and a half the victim worked for the defendant and gave him all of the money she earned. She was threatened and sexually assaulted by the defendant. She was beaten with a wooden hanger as well. At all times she was being watched by Smith. On June 10, 2008 the victim tried to escape by leaving the New York motel where Smith was keeping her. During the escape attempt Smith dragged her into a waiting car that was ultimately driven to Massachusetts. The victim later tried to escape from a rest area as well. There, Smith choked her and grabbed her by the neck. Finally, on June 11, 2008 while in Boston she was able to escape and call 911. Surveillance footage confirms portions of the woman’s story.
When the police arrived to meet the victim she related her story, identified the defendant and the car in which he was riding. Police later spotted the car and stopped and arrested the defendant. A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for September 18, 2008. This story was reported in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office Press Releases.
Kidnapping is a violent crime. In Massachusetts it is proscribed by G.L. c. 265 sec. 26. It is the taking away of a person against his or her will usually in furtherance of some other crime. Most kidnapping statutes recognize different levels or types of kidnapping and punish accordingly. In Massachusetts the maximum penalty under the statute cited above is 10 years in state prison. Cases such as the one discussed in this post can in certain circumstances be difficult to prosecute. You must keep in mind that rarely if ever do press releases reveal all of the relevant facts pertinent to a case. Here for instance, the victim was a prostitute. She solicited the defendant through an internet advertisement. The press release is unclear as to whether or not she voluntarily accompanied Smith to Connecticut initially. It is also unclear as to what acts she wilfully engaged in once in Connecticut and New York. The fact that the defendant in this case may have abused or assaulted the woman violently does not mean that he kidnapped her. It is clear that the prosecution believes that the kidnapping took place in Suffolk County, Massachusetts and that Suffolk is the proper venue. Venue in Massachusetts for crimes like this is set out in G.L. c. 265 sec. 24A.
Prostitution is also a crime in Massachusetts. See G.L. c. 272 sec. 53A. It is punishable by a house of correction sentence of up to 1 year. In most countries prostitution is legal. It is illegal in the United States, most Muslim countries, India and Argentina. Prostitution is legal in 10 counties in the State of Nevada. Rhode Island has a “prostitution loophole” that permits prostitution if done indoors.
Our office has defendant people charged with kidnapping and prostitution. If you have been charged with kidnapping or prostitution in Massachusetts or any other jurisdiction contact our office, Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorneys now.