A Boston man is facing federal charges in an alleged sex trafficking operation, accused of victimizing a young woman and a 17-year-old girl.
U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins of Massachusetts announced Friday that 30-year-old Leon Blount had been charged with sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, as well as three counts of transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Blount allegedly began grooming the older victim in the fall of 2021, pressuring her to make pornographic videos that were posted online. He is later accused of forcing her to perform commercial sex acts to make him money, threatening to harm her if she left his operation.
According to Rollins' office, in September of 2022, Blount is accused of throwing a rock through the window of a car the woman was in, pepper-spraying her and trying to pull her out of the vehicle.
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"Blount allegedly then got into the car and drove over Jane Doe 1's leg, severely injuring her, as she tried to flee," Rollins' office wrote in a press release Friday. "It is alleged that after Jane Doe 1 was taken to the hospital, Blount broke into her apartment and wrote, 'B**** ya not safe' on the wall."
Blount has been in police custody since that incident, when he was arrested by officers with the Lowell Police Department.
Authorities say Blount met the 17-year-old victim when she was at a group home for transitional teens, giving her alcohol and marijuana. He is accused of recruiting her and bringing her to New York and Connecticut for commercial sex to benefit himself financially.
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"While in New York, Blount allegedly directed Jane Doe 2 to solicit sex buyers in an area of Brooklyn known for commercial sex," Rollins' office said. "It is further alleged that Blount caused Jane Doe 2's photo to be posted on websites that advertise commercial sex and put her in hotel rooms in Woburn and Hartford, where he directed her to perform sex acts to earn money for him."
Blount was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury. He is due in federal court in Boston next Thursday.
Rollins' office noted that the sex trafficking by force charge carries a minimum sentence of 15 years, with a maximum of life. The minimum sentence for each of the three charges of transporting a minor for criminal sexual activity is 10 years; these charges also carry maximum sentences of life in prison.
It was not immediately clear if Blount had an attorney.
"Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery," Rollins said in a statement. "Whether labor or sex trafficking, if someone is profiting off of a person they control through threat, force or coercion, they are committing a felony. We allege that Mr. Blount targeted two victims – one of whom was a minor – whom he groomed and trafficked to engage in commercial sex across multiple states and used extreme violence to keep one of his victims under his control."
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call 617-748-3274. The U.S. Attorney's Office said information and resources for people who may be impacted by sex trafficking are available from the Polaris Project.