Two Roxbury men have been convicted of exploiting women under the state’s human trafficking law, marking the first convictions under the new legislation, authorities said Friday.
Tyshaun McGhee, 33, and Sidney McGee, 29, were each convicted Thursday of three counts of trafficking a person for sexual servitude, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said.
McGhee was also convicted on two counts of deriving support from prostitution. They were both acquitted on counts of aggravated rape, prosecutors said.
Both men face up to 20 years in state prison, prosecutors said.
Authorities say the two men recruited drug-addicted women in September 2012 to work for a prostitution website they were operating. They promised the women narcotics and money and coerced them into sexual activity with men who responded to the defendants’ online ads. McGee and McGhee then kept the money for themselves, prosecutors said.
“This was anything but a victimless crime,” Conley said in a statement Friday. “These women were homeless, drug-dependent, and vulnerable. The defendants ruthlessly exploited them through prostitution. This case is a perfect example of why we fought so hard for a human trafficking statute in Massachusetts and why our enforcement efforts today target pimps and johns.”
Both victims testified that the men approached them outside medical facilities, offered them drugs, and then brought them to McGhee’s home. They were recruited separately, prosecutors said.
The women were posed in lingerie and photographed. The pictures were later posted online, prosecutors said.
Both victims said they were brought to a Eustis Street residence in Roxbury owned by Fard Ahmed, 76, where they participated in acts of prostitution in exchange for cash.
Ahmed is also being charged with human trafficking for allegedly allowing his property to be used for prostitution.
The two women escaped in late September 2012 and reported the abuse.
That triggered an investigation by the Boston police human trafficking unit and the district attorney’s sexual assault unit. Both men were indicted in December 2012 and have been held on high bail since then.
The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced Monday in Suffolk Superior Court.
Massachusetts’ human trafficking statute was signed into law in 2011. Conley and Attorney General Martha Coakley, who is running to replace Governor Deval Patrick, helped to draft the legislation.
In the years that followed, Conley adopted a “safe harbor” policy for young prostitutes, treating them as victims of exploitation, rather than offenders. That policy was later mandated statewide.