Roxbury men to be sentenced for human trafficking

Sidney McGee, left, and Tyshaun McGhee, right, were convicted of trafficking a person for sexual servitude. Photo: Conley/DA
Sidney McGee, left, and Tyshaun McGhee, right, were convicted of trafficking a person for sexual servitude. Photo: Conley/DA

Two Roxbury men believed to be the first to be convicted under Massachusetts’ new human trafficking statute are due to be sentenced on Monday for forcing drug-addicted women into sexual servitude and keeping the money for themselves.

Tyshaun McGhee, 34, and Sidney McGee, 30, face up to 20 years in state prison for recruiting the women in September 2012, giving them drugs and promising them wealth, according to prosecutors. The pair then coerced them into sexual activity with men who responded to online advertisements.

Both men were acquitted of additional counts of aggravated rape, prosecutors said.

“This was anything but a victimless crime,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. “These women were homeless, drug-dependent, and vulnerable. The defendants ruthlessly exploited them through prostitution. This case is a perfect example of why we fought so hard for a human trafficking statute in Massachusetts, and why our enforcement efforts today target pimps and johns.”

Massachusetts’ human trafficking statute was passed into law in late 2011 with key language drafted by Conley and Attorney General Martha Coakley. That followed by several years a voluntary policy shift in which Conley adopted a “safe harbor” policy for prostituted youth, treating them as victims of exploitation rather than offenders; that voluntary policy was later mandated statewide. Members of Conley’s staff also direct the Support to End Exploitation Now program, a multi-agency task force that connects young exploitation victims with a wide array of services and has twice been named a Top 50 Innovative Government Program by a Harvard University think tank.

One victim, age 24 at the time, told jurors that the defendants approached her outside a Boston hospital and offered her drugs. She said they provided her with crack cocaine and took her to Tyshaun McGhee’s residence, where they posed her in lingerie and took photographs that they later posted online.

A second victim, age 28 at the time, had a similar experience; she said Sidney McGee recruited her outside a Boston methadone clinic.

The victims’ testimony – corroborated by text messages recovered from Tyshaun McGhee’s phone, records subpoenaed from online prostitution sources, and witness statements –proved that they were coerced into sexual activity with strangers at various locations over the course of several days. The defendants orchestrated that activity and took the money that the victims were paid. The victims also testified that both defendants raped them.

On September 22, 2012, as the defendants drove the victims back to Boston from a hotel in Peabody, the two women escaped from the vehicle and ran to Boston Medical Center, where they disclosed the abuse, triggering an investigation by the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit and the DA’s Sexual Assault Unit. Both were indicted in December 2012 and have been held on high bail since that time.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.


Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."


Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.


Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).


Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.


Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.


Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.


Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.


Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…