The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced on Saturday that a federal jury in New Bern found William Maurice Saddler guilty of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and of a minor.
The 33-year-old Saddler was named in an Indictment on October 5, 2016 that included four other codefendants who previously pled guilty. Saddler was found guilty of Counts One and Two in the indictment.
According to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the juvenile victim, who was under 16, was forced to perform sexual acts with numerous men from April 2014 to November 2015.
The evidence presented at trial showed: The victim was fifteen years old. He began a dating and then a sexual relationship with her. One day, Saddler gave her crack, took her to a Mexican migrant camp near Wilson, North Carolina, and forced her to prostitute. After that, Saddler took her to Mexican migrant camps near Wilson numerous times to prostitute. Saddler abused and threatened the victim when she said that she did not want to prostitute.
Saddler has convictions dating back to 2000, most of which were in Wilson County. Those convictions include felony possession of Schedule II drugs, possession of a controlled substance, felony attempted larceny and misdemeanor larceny, according to records.
At sentencing, Saddler faces a maximum sentence of not less than 15 years in prison up to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $500,000.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Raleigh Police Department, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, the Wilson Police Department and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Erin C. Blondel and Eleanor Morales represented the United States Justice Department.