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Press Release

Providence Man Detained on Sex Trafficking, Child Pornography Charges

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

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Dujuan Harris, 35, of Providence, R.I., has been ordered detained in federal custody on charges that he allegedly sex trafficked a 17-year-old female from Texas, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, Providence Police Chief Hugh T. Clements, Jr., and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security (HSI) Investigations for New England.

Harris is also charged with production of child pornography, after investigators allegedly discovered numerous nude photographs of the 17-year-old victim on Harris’ cell phone taken from Skype conversations with the victim while she was in Texas.

Harris appeared before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on Monday and was ordered detained in federal custody after having been detained in state custody on related state charges since June 30, 2015.

Harris is charged by way of a federal criminal complaint with one count each of sex trafficking a child, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, production of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

According to federal court documents, after allegedly befriending the teenager on the Internet, it is alleged that Harris provided funds to the teenager to pay for her to travel by bus from her home in Texas to Boston. It is alleged that Harris met the young woman when she arrived in Boston on June 12, 2015, and then paid for her to travel with him by bus to Providence. It is alleged that within a few days of her arrival in Providence, the defendant took photographs of the victim in various stages of undress and posted them in ads on Backpage.com.

According to an investigation by the Providence Police Department and agents from Homeland Security, the response to the ad was immediate and several sexual encounters with the 17-year-old for a fee were arranged. All of the funds were allegedly turned over to Harris.

According to court documents, when Harris told the young woman that he wanted to earn more money by having her engage in an increased number of sexual encounters for payment, the young woman told Harris she no longer wanted to participate. It is alleged that Harris removed the battery from the victim’s cell phone so that she could not be located and on several occasions refused to allow her to leave the Providence apartment they were staying in.

On June 30, 2015, Homeland Security agents, Providence Police detectives and members of the Human Trafficking Task Force located the victim in an apartment in Providence.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ly T. Chin.

Prosecutors from the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General are assisting the United States Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of this matter.

Contact:

Jim Martin (401) 709-5357

email: USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

on Twitter @USAO_RI

 

Updated September 16, 2015

Topic
Human Trafficking
Press Release Number: 15-74