Two sets of photographs. Two sides of Xaver Boston's public life.
A year ago this month, Boston was a doting father — an Army Reservist just home from deployment to Afghanistan who slipped into a Winston-Salem school to surprise his young daughters.
This week, Boston's expressionless mugshot from the Mecklenburg County jail accompanied a federal indictment that accuses the 28-year-old of running a longstanding prostitution ring. According to the indictment, Boston, now of Charlotte, specialized in trafficking young women; one was under 18. His alias: Romeo.
The indictment, which was unsealed Thursday, charges Boston with six counts of sex trafficking, one count of inducing a person to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution, and two counts of using an interstate facility — the internet — to promote a prostitution enterprise.
Each trafficking charge carries a sentence of 15 years to life, mandatory restitution and a $250,000 fine.
Federal prosecutors say Boston first started recruiting women for his commercial sex ring in 2012. He used drugs, including heroin, to control the women, then withheld the drugs as a form of punishment to keep them in line. He could also be violent if his workers did not do what he said or if he suspected they were withholding money, the indictment says.
In Afghanistan, Cpl. Boston served in a security detail for a major general in the capital city of Kabul.
According to the affidavit, "Romeo" Boston was a pimp a long time before he became a soldier. His operation closed down in the spring of 2016, or right around the time of his deployment.
He began trafficking women again in the spring of 2017, the indictment says, shortly after his return.
A year ago in March, according to the Winston-Salem Journal, Cpl. Boston cried while he held his daughters for the first time in almost a year.
"I was just telling them how much I loved them, how much I missed them," Boston said at the time.
On Tuesday, Boston is scheduled to be back before a judge for his bond hearing. That will determine whether he will be freed before trial or remain jailed indefinitely.
Researcher Maria David contributed.