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Two accused of violently trafficking multiple women in Massachusetts, New York, at least four other states

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New York, NY/Boston, MA – Two are accused of violently sex trafficking multiple women across a handful of states including Massachusetts.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the indictment of Jonathan Ruiz, a/k/a “Saiint,” 29, and Charline Santiago, 27, for conspiring to violently traffic multiple women in their mid-twenties, forcing them to engage in commercial sexual acts in at least six states, including New York. Ruiz and Santiago allegedly coerced the women by beating them, brandishing a firearm, withholding their personal identifying documents, forcing them to take cocaine, and more, and disguised their financial proceeds by creating an LLC based in Connecticut. The defendants are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Conspiracy, Sex Trafficking, and Promoting Prostitution. Ruiz is also charged with Labor Trafficking for forcing one of the women to produce videos on OnlyFans.com.

“These horrific allegations detail an abhorrent sex trafficking scheme that preyed on vulnerable people so the ringleaders could turn a profit,” said District Attorney Bragg. “The Internet gives traffickers new ways to exploit people through economic, emotional, physical and psychological coercion. We will continue to hold accountable those who engaged in this type of criminal activity, while also continuing our work to ensure that survivors have the services and support they need to recover and move beyond the trauma they have faced.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, Ruiz and Santiago conspired to violently traffic multiple women in their mid-twenties between February 2020 and February 2021. Intimate partners with children in common, Ruiz and Santiago worked together to profit from forced commercial sexual acts. Ruiz posted online advertisements for the women and drove them to work at hotels and other locations across New York City, as well as in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Santiago often waited outside of hotels, accepting CashApp payments and cash. At one point, Ruiz moved multiple women to a house in Connecticut.

Ruiz compelled prostitution by beating the women if they did not want to work, stashed money to save, attempted to flee, or fell asleep when he wanted her to work. These beatings – on at least one occasion done at the direction of Santiago – frequently resulted in black eyes, bruising to multiple parts of her body, and lacerations with long-lasting scars. Ruiz also owned a firearm, which he displayed to the women on at least one occasion.

Ruiz and Santiago are also accused of withholding the women’s government identification cards, birth certificates, and social security cards to prevent them from fleeing and to fraudulently obtain government benefits and loans in their names. Ruiz’s emails and bank records indicate that he used these IDs to apply for and collect thousands of dollars in state and federal benefits which were intended for the women. Ruiz also made the women take cocaine while working in order to stay awake and earn more money. If the women didn’t earn a specific amount each day, Ruiz would beat them or sometimes not allow them to eat.

Ruiz is also charged with Labor Trafficking for forcing one of the women to take nude photos, create sex videos, and speak with clients on OnlyFans.com. Ruiz created the online accounts without the women’s consent or knowledge, and they did not receive any of the proceeds for performing on OnlyFans.

The defendants took extensive steps to conceal and advance the conspiracy by creating an LLC in Connecticut, with both Ruiz and Santiago listed as executive officers in the corporate filing. They also allegedly issued fraudulent pay stubs, maintained extensive transaction records between themselves and prostitution clients.

Assistant D.A. John Fuller is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Pierre Griffith (Deputy Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit), Assistant D.A. Justin McNabney (Chief of the Human Trafficking Response Unit) and Executive Assistant D.A. Joyce Smith (Chief of the Special Victims Division).

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