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Brockton man sentenced to prison for recruiting prostitutes online

A Brockton man who recruited women online for prostitution, including an undercover police officer, was sentenced to five years in state prison for human trafficking on Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Shakwaan Simpkins, 26, was convicted of one count of trafficking a person for sexual servitude, according to a statement released Thursday by the Middlesex district attorney’s office.

Simpkins had “used a website with the express purpose of recruiting a woman to engage in prostitution,” District Attorney Marian Ryan said in the statement.

Simpkins was arrested in November 2015 after he attempted to employ an undercover Burlington police officer as a sex worker, prosecutors said.

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He responded to an advertisement for sexual services placed by police, and met with the officer at a local hotel that police suspected was the setting for “prostitution-related offenses,” prosecutors said.

Authorities later learned that Simpkins “was linked to multiple posts on a website that offers sexual services for a fee with several other women.”

“This case highlights the importance of online vigilance by law enforcement officials as human trafficking cases are not always easy to identify and they may often present as incidents of prostitution or sexual assault,” Ryan said.


Alana Levene can be reached at alana.levene@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @alanalevene.