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Police arrest Jacksonville man accused of human trafficking

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Aug 21 2014 10:12:21 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 21 2014 06:13:56 PM CDT
RALEIGH, WAKE COUNTY -

Raleigh Police have charged a Jacksonville man with human trafficking for allegedly holding several women in involuntary servitude and assaulting them.

According to arrest warrants from the Raleigh Police Department, 26-year-old Eric Javon Thompson, of Jacksonville, was arrested in Charlotte on Tuesday.

The warrants state Thompson held four women in involuntary servitude while in Wake County. One victim was held from Nov. 1, 2013 to Jan. 1, 2014, one was held from May 1, 2014 to June 1, 2014, one was held from May 1, 2014 to June 29, 2014, and one was held from June 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014, according to the warrants.

The Raleigh Police warrants also allege that Thompson assaulted two of the victims  by choking them with both his hands, causing them to nearly lose consciousness. He threw one of the victims over a bed and pressed the other against a wall, the warrants say.

There is no word on the conditions of the victims now.

Thompson grew up in Jacksonville. On Thursday, his grandfather commented on his grandson's arrest.

"He's in serious trouble. So, the only thing that I can say is I pray and hope that the Lord will continue to bless us," said Thompson's grandfather. "To the victim, I would like to say I'm sorry. I really don't know what happened, what went on."

In addition, Thompson is accused of violently stealing $120 from a person in Wake County on Aug. 11. The warrants state Thompson conspired with Alicia Lauren Connolly to commit the robbery.

Thompson is charged with four felony counts of human trafficking an adult victim, two counts of assault by strangulation, one county of common law robbery, and one count of felony conspiracy. He is being held in the Wake County Detention Center $1,020,000.

Sarah Tellis, the executive director for the True Justice International, said it was likely the victims' testimonies that led to Thompson's arrest.

"Human trafficking is human trafficking. It's modern day slavery," Tellis said. "It can involved an element of slavery such as sex slavery, which is the most common one. But there's also labor trafficking that occurs."

Thompson next court date is scheduled for Sept. 10.