An Atlantic County couple was indicted this week for trafficking a 14-year-old girl for sex at an Atlantic City casino.
A retired corrections officer who allegedly paid to have sex with the young girl was also named.
Tiffany Davis, 39, of Egg Harbor Township, and Derrick Ross, 27, of Atlantic City, face several charges, including first-degree crimes of human trafficking, conspiracy, promoting prostitution of a child younger than 18 and promoting organized street crime in the case.
Ross faces additional charges for allegedly engaging in sexual acts with the victim multiple times, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.
Kurt Young, 53, of South Dennis Township, Cape May County, also was indicted for sexually assaulting a child younger than 16, engaging in prostitution with a child younger than 18 and facilitating human trafficking.
“Bringing human traffickers to justice and ending their cruel enslavement of vulnerable victims is a priority mission of the Attorney General’s Office, the New Jersey State Police, and our law enforcement partners throughout New Jersey,” Grewal said. “These victims often feel trapped with no way to escape.”
The charges are the result of an anti-sex trafficking investigation conducted by the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau and the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau, with assistance from the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force.
State Police responded to an online ad for an escort, and set up a meeting at a casino hotel Nov. 27, 2019, according to the complaint.
When the girl arrived, she was recovered. Ross, who was determined to have brought her to the location.
Davis Jan. 17 at her Fernwood Avenue home, after an investigation linked her to the ad. Texts on her phone also revealed discussions about trafficking the girl, according to the affidavit previously obtained and reported by BreakingAC.
Davis allegedly placed the ads and trafficked the victim to have sex with a number of men during November, with the assistance of Ross. The pair then split the proceeds generated from trafficking the victim.
After her arrest, Davis told investigators that she regularly sent females to Young’s home for sex, including the 14-year-old victim, according to the affidavit.
Investigators obtained cell phone communication between Davis and Young revealed discussions consistent with prostitution-related crimes, the affidavit said.
“Human trafficking transcends the laws we have on the books,” said Col. Patrick Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “These are not crimes against state or country, they are crimes against humanity. We will continue our commitment to aggressively pursue human traffickers by working with not only our law enforcement partners, but also with the public, which is why we urge anyone who observes a suspicious circumstance involving a child or adolescent to report it immediately.”
The first-degree human trafficking charge carries a sentence of 20 years without parole to life in state prison. Promoting organized street crime carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years in state prison.
The other first-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years.
All also each have fines of as much as $200,000.
“Our state laws rightly impose some of the harshest penalties for offenders who traffic and sexually exploit children,” Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice said. “This indictment, which includes four first-degree charges against two of the defendants, reflects our resolve to hold them fully accountable for their alleged crimes. We will continue to collaborate with the State Police and law enforcement at all levels to investigate and aggressively prosecute human trafficking.”
Davis and Ross remain in the Atlantic County Justice Facility. Young is no listed as being held anywhere.
Anyone who suspects human trafficking is asked to call the state’s confidential hotline at 855-END-NJ-HT (855-363-6548).