• Federal authorities say the former reservist used force to coerce his victims
  • The FBI says that only a “heinous” person can commit such acts
  • The accused was ordered to pay $350,000 in restitution

A federal judge in North Carolina sentenced a 31-year-old former Army reservist to 40 years in prison on six counts of sex trafficking charges.

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr., handed down the sentence for Xavier M. Boston, who on top of the prison term was ordered to pay some $350,000 in restitution for his crimes.

Based on evidence presented at trial in early October, Boston ran a widespread sex trafficking ring in the Charlotte, N.C., area for five years ending in September 2017, barring a brief hiatus during an overseas deployment.

Boston recruited women, as well as one teenager, through promises of drugs and a place to live. He then advertised his victims online and collected the profits for himself.

“Boston used fear, coercion and violence against young women to build a depraved sex trafficking criminal enterprise, robbing his victims of the most basic standards of human dignity.” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Andrew Murray said in a statement. “I could not be more pleased with his lengthy sentence."

Prosecutors found that, apart from drugs, Boston used violent control methods on his victims. In one case, Boston choked one of his victims. In another, he pistol-whipped a victim, breaking her nose.

The case was investigated by North Carolina field officials with the FBI, who said it takes an “especially heinous person” to abuse people in this fashion.

US legislation passed in 2000 defined sex trafficking as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.” Victims are typically coerced by force and through fraud, though any commercial sexual activity involving a juvenile is considered trafficking.

In a high-profile case, Ghislaine Maxwell, an alleged accomplice of accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, denied that she hired underage girls as part of a sex abuse ring.

Maxwell, 58, faces federal charges she helped facilitate a sex abuse ring involving minors. The girls were ordered to have sex with Epstein, who committed suicide in 2019 while in custody, and other rich and powerful men at Epstein’s homes. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to recruiting and grooming girls as young as 14 stretching back to the mid-1990s.

Her trial is set for July.