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Press Release

Rhode Island Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Woonsocket, R.I. man pleaded guilty today to trafficking multiple victims to engage in prostitution across seven states. 

Ronald Hall, 48, pleaded guilty to four counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and one count of transportation of an individual with intent to engage in prostitution. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled sentencing for Nov. 3, 2022. Hall was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2020.

“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. 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,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “Identifying and prosecuting sex traffickers is one of my administration’s highest priorities. Last week, I formally announced the creation of the Civil Rights and Human Trafficking Unit in my office, which is dedicated to fighting civil rights violations including human trafficking, hate crimes, and the excessive use of force by law enforcement. Now fully staffed and operational, this Unit will focus on bringing an end to civil rights violations, including human trafficking activity, in Massachusetts and bringing justice and accountability to victims, their families and impacted communities.”

“Hall used fear and intimidation to control the women he trafficked, using drugs to coerce them and make it difficult to leave. HSI is not only committed to bringing human traffickers like Hall to justice, but also to ensuring the safety and stability of the survivors of such appalling crimes. With this plea HSI New England hopes the survivors of his abuse feel a measure of security knowing that he is no longer at large and is facing considerable time in prison as they begin their journey to heal and recover,” said Matthew Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge for the Homeland Security Investigations in New England.

“This investigation and prosecution serve as an example of the Massachusetts State Police commitment to fight human trafficking and hold accountable those that prey on the vulnerable. The MSP is proud to continue to partner with our local, state and federal partners in this effort,” said Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police.

From at least late 2010 through late 2019, Hall used force, threats and coercion to traffic five victims between Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Nevada, to engage in prostitution. Hall targeted and recruited several of the victims, who suffered from substance use disorder, and used their drug addictions to coerce them into engaging in commercial sex in exchange for drugs. Hall regularly scheduled the victims to engage in prostitution – sometimes as frequent as multiple times per day, every day of the week – and took almost all of the proceeds for himself. Hall punished victims who did not meet the quotas he set for them by withholding drugs or through violence. To maintain control, Hall subjected his victims to starvation, regular threats of injury, physical abuse, forced intercourse, violent assaults with weapons including knives, belts and bats and made some of the victims brand themselves with a tattoo of his nickname.

Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information regarding this case should call 617-748-3274.

The charge of sex trafficking provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to a lifetime in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of transportation for purposes of prostitution provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

U.S. Attorney Rollins, HSI SAC Millhollin and Colonel Mason made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Evan Gotlob of Rollins’ Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.

Updated August 11, 2022

Human Trafficking