By Cedric Trahan –

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni sentenced William Coleman, 49, of Springfield to 186 months in prison and five years of supervised release.

In February 2020, Coleman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and nine counts of sex trafficking.

From 2016 to 2018, Coleman ran a prostitution business in the Springfield and Hartford, CT. area. Coleman used violence and the drug addictions of eight female victims to coerce them into engaging in commercial sex acts with paying customers.

The victims were typically required to turn over all of their earnings to Coleman, and their daily lives were tightly controlled by him.

Most of the women were not allowed to keep any of the money they earned, and they were only to obtain their drugs – in most cases, heroin – from Coleman.

Victims who did not engage in prostitution for Coleman, or who did not follow his rules, were subjected to physical assaults, sexual violence and the withholding of drugs.