Two Charged in Child Exploitation Case
GAINESVILLE, FL—A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Michael Alexander Hayes and Ranell Carter Jr., both 24, of Gainesville, Florida, with sex trafficking of a minor. Carter was arraigned today in the U.S. District Court in Gainesville, and Hayes was arraigned on August 6, 2015. The indictment was announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
The indictment alleges that, between May and June 2015, Hayes and Carter knowingly enticed a person less than 18 years of age to engage in a commercial sex act. Carter was charged in a separate indictment in June 2015 with sex trafficking of a minor. The trial is scheduled for September 22, 2015.
This case resulted from investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Williams.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. The office strives to protect and serve the citizens of the Northern District of Florida through the ethical, vigorous, and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, to defend the national security, to improve the safety and quality of life in our communities through the protection of civil rights, and to protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.