#minorsextrafficking | William Coleman of Springfield sentenced to 15 1/2 years in federal prison for trafficking women for sex

A Springfield man who pleaded guilty in February to trafficking women for sex in Springfield and Hartford with a stable of as many as 20 women that he kept addicted to drugs was sentenced on Thursday to 15 1/2 years in federal prison.

William Coleman, 49, was sentenced by Judge Mark Mastroianni in U.S. District Court in Springfield after he admitted to nine separate charges of sex trafficking and a single count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. In addition to the prison time, Coleman was sentenced to 5 years probation once he completes his sentence.

Coleman admitted to operating a prostitution business in Springfield and Hartford between 2016 and 2018. Prosecutors said he commonly advertised on internet sites including Backpage.com, a sex-marketing website that was shut down by the federal government in 2018.

He had a stable of as many as 20 women that he coerced into the sex trade with threats of violence and by exploiting their drug addictions.

Prosecutors say he maintained strict control over the women he recruited. They were required to give him all the money they earned from customers, and they were only allowed to obtain heroin from him. Those who refused to obey him were beaten, sexually assaulted or not provided with heroin.

He recruited some of the women from the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Facility in Chicopee, prosecutors said.

He employed Virginia Maldonado, the mother of his child, as his lieutenant to keep the other women in line, according to court records.

The case against Coleman was the result of efforts of the Western Massachusetts Human Trafficking Working Group, which was established in 2015 to investigate and prosecute charges involving sex trafficking.


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