RI man pleads guilty to trafficking women in Mass., six other states for nearly a decade

·2 min read

A Rhode Island man pleaded guilty to trafficking five women for prostitution in Massachusetts and six other states.

Federal prosecutors say 48-year-old Ronald Hall, of Woonsocket, used force, threats and coercion to traffic the women between Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Florida and Nevada. He targeted women with a substance use disorder and used their drug addictions to coerce them into engaging in prostitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Hall operated from 2010-2019, regularly scheduling the women to engage in prostitution, sometimes as frequently as multiple times per day, every day of the week, federal prosecutors say. He subjected them to starvation, regular threats of injury, physical abuse, forced intercourse, violent assaults with weapons including knives, belts and bats, and forced some of them to get a tattoo of his nickname.

“The trauma inflicted upon victims of sex trafficking is beyond measure. For nearly a decade, Mr. Hall used violence and threats to target and exploit five separate victims across seven different states,” U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement. “This man targeted vulnerable women with substance use disorders and essentially enslaved them. The behavior he engaged in was unconscionable. Although nothing will ever erase the profound, long-lasting hurt and pain these women have suffered at the hands of Mr. Hall, today’s conviction hopefully brings some long-awaited justice and accountability.”

Hall pleaded guilty to five counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and one count of transportation of an individual with intent to engage in prostitution. He faces a minimum of 15 years and up to life in prison for each count of sex trafficking.

Hall is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 3.

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