Following Indictment, Haverhill Tax Adviser, 78, Faces Sexual Trafficking, Drug Charges June 24

John L. Caruso in Haverhill District Court. (WHAV News photograph.)

A 78-year-old Haverhill financial adviser is set to appear next month in Essex County Superior Court after a grand jury handed down indictments, moving sexual trafficking and drug distribution out of the lower district court.

With 10 initial allegations in March, a grand jury handed John L. Caruso two more counts of trafficking a person for sexual servitude, while removing two counts of sexual conduct for a fee. In sum, he faces four counts of human trafficking, four drug charges—including one felony—and maintaining a house of prostitution. The removal of a usury charge was the only other change.

Caruso is scheduled face a pre-trial hearing scheduled Monday, June 24 at the Essex County Superior Court with Judge Thomas Drechsler presiding.

As WHAV reported back in February, police arrested Caruso following an investigation into the Jan. 8 overdose death of an unnamed woman, according to Assistant District Attorney Mark Hintlian. She was found at 173 River St., Haverhill, where the prosecutor said Caruso operates his business and owns an apartment building.

Cell phones collected by investigators showed evidence of “sexual servitude in exchange for drugs” with three living victims. Drugs and paraphernalia were also discovered. Defendants can reach an agreement with the state at pre-trial hearings. If Caruso accepts a plea deal, his case will not go to trial.

Sexual trafficking convictions in Massachusetts carry five- to 20-year sentences and maximum fines of $25,000. The punishment for a defendant found to have paid for sex is much less severe.

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