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TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a woman and a man from Atlantic County were indicted yesterday by a state grand jury for allegedly trafficking a 14-year-old girl for sex at a casino hotel in Atlantic City and in other parts of South Jersey. The indictment also charges a man who allegedly paid to have sex with the 14-year-old victim in his home.
The Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau obtained an indictment yesterday charging Tiffany N. Davis, 39, of Egg Harbor Township, and Derrick V. Ross, 27, of Atlantic City, with the following offenses:
- Conspiracy (1st degree),
- Human Trafficking (1st degree),
- Promoting Organized Street Crime (1st Degree),
- Promoting Prostitution of a Child Under 18 (1st degree), and
- Facilitating Human Trafficking (2nd degree).
Ross also is charged with Sexual Assault of a Child Under 16 (2nd degree) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (3rd degree) for allegedly engaging in sexual acts with the victim multiple times. First-degree human trafficking carries a sentence of 20 years without parole to life in state prison. Ross was arrested by the New Jersey State Police on Nov. 27, 2019, and Davis was arrested on Jan. 17, 2020.
The indictment also charges Kurt C. Young, 53, of South Dennis Township, N.J., a retired state correctional police officer, for allegedly engaging in sexual acts with the 14-year-old girl in his home. He allegedly arranged with Tiffany Davis for the girl to be transported to his home for sex in exchange for money.Young was arrested by the State Police on Jan. 28, 2020.
Young is charged in the state grand jury indictment with the following offenses:
- Sexual Assault of a Child Under 16 (2nd degree), and
- Engaging in Prostitution with a Child Under 18 (2nd degree).
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child (3rd degree).
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.
“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,” said Attorney General Grewal.“ These victims often feel trapped with no way to escape.That is why we urge people to help us rescue them by calling our confidential hotline 855-END-NJ-HT if they see someone who they suspect is being exploited in this manner.”
“Our state laws rightly impose some of the harshest penalties for offenders who traffic and sexually exploit children,“ said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “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.”
“Human trafficking transcends the laws we have on the books. These are not crimes against state or country; they are crimes against humanity,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “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.”
During the investigation, the State Police responded by phone to an online “escort” ad.The person who answered agreed she would meet the undercover detective at a casino hotel in Atlantic City. The 14-year-old victim, who is not related to either Davis or Young, was recovered by the State Police on November 27, 2019, when she arrived at the hotel as arranged and offered to have sex with an undercover detective. Pursuant to AG Directive 2012-2 on Investigation of Human Trafficking, the victim was immediately connected with support services.
Ross was arrested later that day after it was determined that he allegedly transported the 14-year-old victim to the hotel to engage in sex for money.Further investigation revealed that Davis allegedly had placed online ads and had trafficked the victim to have sex with a number of men during the month of November, with the assistance of Ross. Davis and Ross allegedly split the proceeds generated from trafficking the victim.
Deputy Attorney General Katelyn Waegener of the Specialized Crimes Bureau, Casino Prosecutions Unit, presented the case to the state grand jury, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Valerie Butler, Bureau Chief Erik Daab, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart. New Jersey State Police Detective Sgt. First Class Mark Devine of the Casino Gaming Bureau, Special Investigations Unit, led the investigation.
The first-degree human trafficking charge carries a sentence of 20 years without parole to life in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Promoting organized street crime carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. The other first-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry as sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
For Davis: Michael H. Schreiber, Esq., Atlantic City, N.J.
For Ross: Jill R. Cohen, Esq., of Westmont, N.J.
For Young: David J. Glassman, Esq., Marlton, N.J.