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April 23, 2010

Boston, Mass... The Honorable Nancy Gertner sentenced a Boston man convicted of conspiracy to traffic women in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution and transporting minors in interstate commerce for the purposes of prostitution, to 25 years in federal prison.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Special Agent in Charge Warren T. Bamford, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Police Commissioner Edward Davis of the Boston Police Department, announced today that DARRYL TAVARES, 26, of Hyde Park, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston.

The investigation into the sex trafficking of minors began in 2005 after a minor female victim reported to police that she had been prostituted in and outside of Massachusetts by local pimps. The FBI worked closely with the Boston Police Department to investigate the claims, which ultimately resulted in the indictment of six men on conspiracy and related sex trafficking charges. Four of the co-conspirators pled guilty to the conspiracy count prior trial and are awaiting sentencing.

Over the course of the six-day trial, the jury heard testimony from several trafficking victims, including many who were under the age of 18 years when the offenses occurred. The victims described how the defendants, TAVARES and his co-conspirators, worked together to control the prostitutes’ behavior, switched underage prostitutes back and forth among them, and viciously beat the young women. One victim, who was a minor at the time of the offense, described how defendant TAVARES carved her face with a potato peeler to scar her permanently so everyone would know she belonged to him. Another victim who was only 16 years old when the offense occurred testified that after she had run away from her pimp, TAVARES lured her back to the pimp, and sat back and laughed as he brutally beat and attempted to kill her by placing a plastic bag over her head and taping it securely around her neck.

In sentencing the defendant, Judge Gertner stated that the defendant had made a “lifestyle choice” and that the sentence served to deter others from engaging in the “degradation” of minors. The Judge characterized the trial testimony concerning the “callous violence” that the defendant had inflicted on the victims as some of the “most disturbing testimony” she has heard since taking the bench. Juge Gertner stated the sentence would serve as “retribution” for the women whom the had defendant degraded and humiliated.

Upon release from imprisonment, TAVARES will be required to register as a sex offender.

The case was investigated by the Boston Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leah Foley and George Vien in Ortiz’s Drug Task Force Unit.


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