NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A New Hanover County jury found a man guilty of human trafficking and promoting prostitution charges on Tuesday afternoon, District Attorney Ben David said.
Roderick Jermaine Boykins, 39, was found guilty of five counts of human trafficking of an adult victim, two counts of sexual servitude of an adult victim, three counts of promote prostitution – profits and two counts of promote prostitution – advance, according to the court calendar.
Boykins was sentenced Wednesday afternoon as a habitual felon to at least 43 years in prison for the crimes.
"It's a lot of time. We wanted him to be held accountable," Assistant District Attorney Connie Jordan said. "It's hard to put a value on the harm he's caused the victims in this case. Not only the victims in this case but other women who were unwilling or unable to come forward about the abuse at his hands."
Numerous law enforcement agencies investigated Boykins, resulting in his arrest in February 2015.
Victims' testimony played a pivotal role in securing the lengthy sentence, according to Jordan, who also said the testimony is often more difficult to secure, given the circumstances.
"I think a lot of them have shame when they were victims of his control," Jordan said. "It's been a very difficult thing in these cases to make these victims feel comfortable enough to share what has happened."
During sentencing, Jordan laid out a list of instances where Boykins prostituted women and exhibited behaviors of a "predator." Prosecutors claimed Boykins grabbed women by the hair and threw them into cars, beat them when they didn't come back with enough money and made them get tattoos of his lips in an attempt to "brand" them.
"We feel he is a predator in our community," Jordan said. "I feel our communities and other communities are safer because he is not out there able to continue this behavior."
Warrants said Boykins knowingly recruited a female victim with the intent that she would be held in sexual servitude. Specifically, warrants stated the victim was held for the purpose of prostitution.