Scranton, Pa

Former NFL Player Charged with Sex Trafficking

Posted: February 27, 2023

On February 16, 2023, former NFL player Eric Johnson and seven other individuals were arrested and charged for their alleged association with the LOTTO (Last One To Take Over) street gang in Atlanta, Georgia. The eight individuals are facing charges of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude, Violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping.

Eric Johnson played in the NFL from 2000-2005.  During his career, he played for the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and Arizona Cardinals. Johnson and the other defendants allegedly engaged in the trafficking of five female victims, including one minor. This was purportedly done to fund and expand the criminal enterprise of the LOTTO street gang. Johnson is alleged to hold a leadership role within the criminal organization. Additionally, the eight defendants are alleged to have recruited others to join the criminal enterprise.

The Attorney General of Georgia, Christopher M. Carr, stated that, throughout Georgia, “gangs are actively engaged in human trafficking as a primary means to make money, and we are using all available resources to fight back and protect our most vulnerable.” The Attorney General’s press release further explained that the conspiracy alleged among the defendants included, “enhancing the reputation and protection of the enterprise through the posting of images promoting its profitability and readiness to engage in acts of violence and sexual servitude.”

The Georgia Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit will be prosecuting the case jointly with the Attorney General’s new Gang Prosecution Unit.

The CSE Institute applauds the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Section and the Georgia Attorney General’s Human Trafficking and Gang Prosecution Units for their efforts to combat commercial sexual exploitation. The CSE Institute also commends the Gwinnett County Police Department, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, the DeKalb County Police Department, the Cobb County Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance in this investigation.

The CSE Institute will continue to provide updates on this matter as it proceeds.

All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.

Category: News

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