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Friday, August 07, 2015

Rhode Island Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison For Sex Trafficking



Ricky T. Wallace aka Justice, 34, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was sentenced today to 12 years in federal prison for trafficking a 17-year-old female resident of a group home in the Boston area to Rhode Island for the purposes of commercial sexual activity.                                                     

At the time of his guilty plea, Wallace admitted to the court that in addition to trafficking the 17-year-old, he also brought a 20-year-old woman from the Boston area to Rhode Island where she was directed to pose in photographs that were posted on Backpage.com and then offered for commercial sexual activity.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisa also ordered Wallace to serve five years supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence and to have no contact, direct or indirect, with the victims.  Wallace pleaded guilty on March 23, 2015, to one count each of conspiracy, sex trafficking of a child, transportation of a minor for sexual activity and two counts of transportation of an individual for sexual activity.

Wallace’s sentenced is announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha of the District of Rhode Island, Special Agent in Charge Vincent B. Lisi of the FBI’s Boston Field Office and Superintendent Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell of the Rhode Island State Police.

Two co-defendants in this matter, Kemont Bowie aka Daddy, 34, and Raechyl Spooner aka Kitty, 21, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, are scheduled to be sentenced in September.  Bowie pleaded guilty on June 11, 2015, to one count each of conspiracy, sex trafficking of a child and transportation of a minor for sexual activity.  Spooner pleaded guilty on June 12, 2015, to one count of conspiracy.

“At bottom, the defendant here traded in, and made money on, the vulnerability of his teenage and young adult victims,” said U.S. Attorney Neronha.  “Few, if any, crimes are more outrageous and he deserves every minute of the twelve years he will serve in federal prison.  Those on the other side of these criminal transactions – the sex buyers – should also take notice, for they too are the focus of our law enforcement efforts and they too will have a price to pay, whether in the context of this case or in others.

“Mr. Wallace profited from a sex trafficking venture that used force and coercion to compel women to engage in commercial sex acts,” said Special Agent in Charge Lisi.  “These crimes often go undetected because victims live in fear from physical abuse.  My Office is committed to aggressively investigating individuals and organizations that profit from this illegal conduct.”

“Targeting and prosecuting those who prey on the vulnerability of young girls and women, and force them into trafficking for sex, is a major priority of the Rhode Island State Police,” said Superintendent Colonel O’Donnell. “This is another great example of collaborative law enforcement and prosecution.  I applaud the strong sentence imposed today for being involved in this activity as a means to deter others from being involved in this underground culture and to send the message to victims that they have a place to turn for help.”

According to court documents and information presented to the court, the 17-year-old victim in this case was driven from South Station in Boston to Rhode Island in the early morning hours of Aug. 19, 2014, for the purposes of being trafficked for commercial sexual activity.  The young woman was driven to a Pawtucket residence where she was located and rescued six days later by FBI agents and officers from the Pawtucket and Central Falls Police Departments.

Additionally, according to court documents, on Aug. 22, 2014, Wallace offered a 20-year-old Boston area woman a ride from South Station in Boston to nearby Cambridge. Instead of being driving to Cambridge, the woman was driven first to Pawtucket and then to a motel in Seekonk, Massachusetts.  The woman was photographed and offered on Backpage.com for commercial sexual activity.  The woman repeatedly asked that she be driven back to the Boston area.  She was able to get away from Wallace the next day after her repeated requests to be driven back to the Boston area were ignored.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela E. Chin.

The U.S. Marshal Service, the Arlington, Massachusetts, Police Department and the Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island Police Departments assisted the FBI and Rhode Island State Police in the investigation of this matter.

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