Three suspects caught in an unnamed Atlantic City casino sex sting involving a 14-year-old girl were indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday. The inditement charges a man and woman with human trafficking. The charges also name a retired New Jersey corrections officer who arranged for the teen to meet him for sex at his home. His charges were unrelated to the casino sting.
The pair accused of human trafficking could spend up to life in prison if convicted. All three defendants are from New Jersey.
The indictments stem from a New Jersey State Police inquiry into personal ads last November. As part of the investigation, police responded to an online escort ad and arranged to meet the girl at the casino-hotel.
The teen showed up as planned on Nov 27. She met an undercover officer and offered to have sex in exchange for money.
The duo indicted for allegedly trafficking the girl were identified by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal as Tiffany N. Davis, age 39, of Egg Harbor Township, and Derrick V. Ross, age 27, of Atlantic City.
Each was charged with human trafficking, promoting organized street crime, promoting prostitution of a child under 18, and conspiracy. Each of these counts was in the first-degree.
The duo was also charged with second-degree facilitating human trafficking. Ross was additionally charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16 and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly engaging in sex with the girl “multiple times.”
Defendants Face Decades in Prison
If convicted of first-degree human trafficking, both Ross and Davis face a sentence of anywhere from 20 years without parole to life in prison. They also face a fine of up to $200,000.
A conviction for promoting organized street crime can result in a sentence of 15 to 30 years and a fine of up to $200,000. The other first-degree charges carry sentences of between 10 and 20 years and a fine of up to $200,000.
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. The possible fine is up to $150,000. The third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Ross was arrested by the New Jersey State Police on Nov. 27. He allegedly transported the 14-year-old to the hotel. Davis was arrested on Jan. 17. She allegedly placed online ads and trafficked the victim to have sex with a number of men last November. Davis and Ross allegedly split the proceeds from trafficking the girl.
The indictment also charges Kurt C. Young, age 53, of South Dennis Township, a retired state corrections officer, with allegedly engaging in sex with the 14-year-old girl at his home in exchange for money.
Young was arrested on Jan. 28. He is charged in the indictment with second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16 and second-degree engaging in prostitution with a child under 18. He is also charged with third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Following the incident, the girl was given support services.
Human Trafficking: ‘Cruel Enslavement’
“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,” Attorney General Grewal said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The charges are the result of an 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.
The indictments come a day after the local Casino Reinvestment Development Authority donated more than $230,000 to the Volunteers of America Delaware Valley to combat human trafficking in Atlantic City, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
The indictments also follow January’s public meeting where representatives from the city’s nine casinos complained about prostitution and other crime in Atlantic City.
In 2019, Caesars Entertainment became the first casino operator to sign the ECPAT Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct and join the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) to end human and child trafficking. Human trafficking is estimated to generate $150 billion in annual income for those engaged as of last year. Some 45.8 million people were enslaved as of January 2019.