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Press Release

Wilson Man Ordered to Pay Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Restitution to Human Trafficking Victim

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan has ordered WILLIAM MAURICE SADDLER, 36, of Wilson to pay $477,618.20 in restitution to a victim of human trafficking.  This is the largest amount ever ordered in our District under the trafficking restitution statute.

The case involved a fifteen-year-old victim whom SADDLER prostituted at migrant camps near Wilson, North Carolina. SADDLER helped the victim to become addicted to crack cocaine, coerced her and forced her to continue prostituting, and kept all the money derived from her forced prostitution. SADDLER also introduced the victim to two other pimps, Bobby Ray Williams Jr. and Kenneth Corvon Ward, who also prostituted her with the assistance of two females, Temeeka Honey and Yadyra Brown. Williams, Ward, Honey, and Brown all were previously convicted and sentenced in related cases.

A federal jury in New Bern convicted SADDLER of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and of a minor. On June 7, 2018, Judge Flanagan sentenced SADDLER to 480 months’ imprisonment followed by a lifetime of supervised release. At the government’s request, and after further proceedings, Judge Flanagan has now ordered SADDLER to pay the substantial restitution amount to the victim.

Federal law applicable to human trafficking offenses mandates that victims be compensated for the full amount of their losses, including for medical services, lost income, attorneys’ fees, transportation, temporary housing, child care expenses, and other items.  Here, Judge Flanagan awarded the victim $477,618.20 in restitution for her losses, and ordered SADDLER to pay that as part of his criminal judgment.

“Saddler’s crimes were unbelievably heinous,” said U.S. Attorney Higdon.  “For years, he exploited and traumatized a child to satiate his greed and others’ sexual desires.  No more.  His 40-year sentence ensures that he cannot hurt other children, and his nearly half-million dollar restitution order is a small step on the victim’s path to recovery.”

That substantial sentence also serves another important goal.  As U.S. Attorney Higdon emphasized, “the extent of Saddler’s punishment demonstrates the ferocity with which the United States prosecutes offenders like him.  Other would-be traffickers should take heed.  The United States will exhaust all available resources to protect our communities’ children.  For those who seek to exploit our youth, justice will be swift and severe.”

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Raleigh Police Department, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, the Wilson Police Department and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorneys Erin C. Blondel and Eleanor Morales represented the United States.

Updated December 19, 2018

Human Trafficking