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Watertown man indicted on rape, sex-trafficking counts

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WATERTOWN — A city man has been named in a 22-count indictment alleging he plied three women with drugs and forced them into prostitution.

Ronnell D. Wilson, 33, of 819 Bronson St., is charged with seven counts of sex trafficking, two counts each of predatory sexual assault, second-degree kidnapping, second-degree promoting prostitution and second-degree unlawful imprisonment, and single counts of first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, third-degree aggravated sexual abuse, third-degree promoting prostitution, second-degree attempted sex trafficking and second- and third-degree attempted promoting prostitution.

The charges were contained in a grand jury indictment unsealed Friday in Jefferson County Court. Wilson becomes the fifth person indicted this week in connection with the alleged prostitution ring.

The top count of the indictment, predatory sexual assault, alleges that in May and June 2013, Wilson repeatedly raped a woman while threatening her with a handgun. It is alleged that he provided the woman with heroin in an attempt to impair her judgment and required her to prostitute herself to repay a purported debt.

According to the indictment, Wilson instilled in the woman a fear that “she would be unlawfully imprisoned and/or have other felony sex acts committed against her” if she did not comply with his demands. It is alleged that Wilson interfered with the woman’s freedom by “secreting and holding her in a place where she was not likely to be found.”

It further is alleged that he provided cocaine to a second woman, also to impair her judgment, and forced her into prostitution, placing her in fear of harm if she did not comply.

The indictment also alleges that Wilson provided a 17-year-old girl with cocaine and forced her to work as a prostitute.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges at arraignment and was sent to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building on $50,000 bail. Wilson has served three prison sentences, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website. Most recently, he was sentenced in November 2009 in County Court to three years in prison for third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Others indicted this week in connection with the alleged prostitution ring are Joseph D. Coplin, 32, whose last known address was 661 Factory St.; Jessica L. Miner, 31, of 515 Bradley St.; Kimberly J. Chisam, 35, of 310 William St., and Brandi L. Gallo, 33, of 419 Lincoln St.

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