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A 25-year-old former utility company employee is facing up to 50 years in prison for allegedly using Craigslist sex ads for sex trafficking, rape, kidnapping and additional related offenses. Ross Campbell of New York will be sentenced in State Supreme Court on November 23. This is the first conviction in Bronx County and one of only a few in New York, under the 2007 Sex Trafficking statute.
The women involved here testified that they were taken to an apartment and forced at gunpoint to work as prostitutes. They were then forced to have their pictures taken while naked, which were used for Craigslist ads. Campbell also raped one women prior to both of them escaping.
Craigslist has since come under heavy scrutiny for its adult services category. The website removed the adult services section in September.
Campbell was convicted of sex trafficking, promoting prostitution in the second degree, rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, and kidnapping in the second degree. Daniel Ebron, Campbell's cousin, pled guilty to promoting prostitution, receiving a sentenced of 5 to 10 years. Davon Walsh also pled guilty to unlawful imprisonment and testified against Campbell for the prosecution. In exchange for his assistance, Walsh will likely receive a term of 1 to 3 years.
The jury found that Ross Campbell used Craigslist sex ads to set up a prostitution operation "using force or engaging in any scheme, plan or pattern to compel or induce the person being patronized to engage in or continue to engage in prostitution activity by means of instilling a fear in the person being patronized that, if the demand is not complied with, [someone] will...cause serious physical injury or death to a person."
The convictions allow for up to 25 years for each offense by Campbell, although judges commonly allow the sentences to run concurrently. However, according to Bronx News, it is also possible that Campbell could be sentenced to consecutive terms on some of the charges.
In case you aren't familiar with the difference between a consecutive versus a concurrent sentence, let me explain. Most people are familiar with a consecutive sentence. Under a consecutive sentence, after a defendant serves time for one offense, they must serve the next one and so on. For example, if they were sentenced to five years for three different counts, they would serve 15 years.
By contrast, under a concurrent sentence, the judge allows the defendant to serve each period of incarceration simultaneously. Under a concurrent sentence, if a defendant was convicted of one crime for which he was sentenced to ten years, and another offense for which he was sentenced to ten years, he would have to serve only ten years rather than twenty.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.