Man convicted of forcing women into prostitution sentenced

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BOSTON – A Rhode Island man who authorities say forced multiple women with drug dependencies into prostitution and used violence and starvation to control them has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Ronald Hall, 48, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, used force, threats and coercion to traffic five victims in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Florida and Nevada from 2010 until 2019, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Boston.

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He targeted drug dependent women, and punished those who did not do as he said by withholding drugs or using violence, including with weapons such as knives, belts and bats, prosecutors said.

He kept almost all of the proceeds of the prostitution for himself.

In addition to the prison term, Hall was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay restitution in an amount that will be determined at a later date.

He pleaded guilty in August to multiple counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and transportation of an individual with intent to engage in prostitution.

“Although nothing will ever erase the profound pain and trauma these victims have suffered as a result of a near-decade of exploitation and abuse from Mr. Hall, we hope this sentencing brings some long-awaited justice and accountability,” U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins said in a statement.