From Suffolk County DA Kevin Hayden’s office:
BOSTON, August 4, 2022—A Dorchester man was arraigned this week and a dozen others face arraignment on charges that they traveled to the “Mass and Cass” area of Roxbury to exploit human trafficking victims, District Attorney Kevin Hayden said.
ANDY MORALES, 43, was arraigned yesterday at the Roxbury division of the Boston Municipal Court for solicitation of a prostitute and also faced arraignment in the Dorchester Division of Boston Municipal Court on a warrant charging violation of an abuse prevention order and breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor. At his Roxbury arraignment, Judge David Breen released Morales on his own recognizance and ordered that he stays away from the location of the crime as well as any victim and witnesses and appear in Dorchester for arraignment on his case there. Hours later, Dorchester Judge Samir Zaganjori released Morales on personal recognizance with orders that he stay away no contact and no abuse of the complaining witness and to abide by any restraining orders in effect.
During the overnight hours Tuesday into Wednesday morning, officers from the Boston Police Department Human Trafficking Unit, the Boston Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit, the Boston Police Street Outreach Unit, the Massachusetts State Police High-Risk Victims Unit and Arlington Police Department conducted an undercover operation to reduce the demand for commercial sexual exploitation. During the operation, an undercover BPD officer and Massachusetts State Trooper posed as trafficking victims working as sex workers in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard. A total of 13 men agreed to provide cash or drugs in return for sexual acts from an undercover officers for prostitution. The men range in age 25 to 64. While several reside in Boston neighborhoods, others list home addresses in Malden, Medford, Randolph, New Bedford and Orlando, Florida.
Of the men charged in the operation, 12 were summonsed to court for arraignment at later dates. Morales was found to have an outstanding default warrant issued from the Dorchester Division of Boston Municipal Court after he failed to appear for arraignment on a charge of violating an abuse prevention order. He was placed under arrest.
“Human trafficking is a violent industry that preys on vulnerable individuals – primarily women who have experienced trauma – and profits from their exploitation. In many cases, trafficking victims receive little if any of the profits from the so-called ‘dates’ they are forced to go on, and instead experience violent assaults and rapes by their exploiters. My office is committed to helping victims escape this life and ending exploitation. One of the ways we do that is through operations to reduce the demand for commercial sexual exploitation like this that target the buyers who are willing to line the pockets of human traffickers and subsidize the harm they inflict,” Hayden said. “The public health and public safety crises that are centered in the area of Mass and Cass are not simply an issue for Boston officials to address. We see individuals travel into this area to prey on those who are vulnerable and struggling. Addressing the issues faced in this area will require a response not just from Boston, and not just from law enforcement. This requires a statewide response from elected officials, the public health sector, and all of us.”
Survivors of human trafficking or those with information on or concerns about human trafficking can call the Polaris Project’s national human trafficking resource center hotline at 888-373-7888 or send a text to “BeFree” (233733). In Suffolk County, survivors of commercial sexual exploitation of all ages can access services through My Life My Choice at 617-396-7807.
Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.
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