FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Fort Lauderdale Police say they have arrested a former teacher at the Broward Christian School in Plantation who was allegedly recruiting adult and juvenile females for sex trafficking.
Police said James Sylvester Ross, 63, was arrested on February 5 but gave police no permanent address. He was once a well know private school coach at Broward Christian School in Plantation, it closed two years ago — now he’s accused of pimping out young girls for sex.
Ross is accused of luring young girls and women into prostitution, possibly beginning years ago when he was a coach. Police were tipped off when a woman said he approached her and told her to call him coach.
“Those that he had spoken to did confirm that he had very explicit sexual conversations with them. He made them feel uncomfortable and he did attempt to recruit them for sex trafficking,” said Ft. Lauderdale police spokeswoman Det. DeAnna Greenlaw.
Police said an undercover detective posed as a 16-year-old who had been exploited for sex acts. FLPD said Ross engaged in sexually explicit conversations with the undercover detective. The arrest affidavit said Ross then arranged for another undercover detective (potential client) to meet the 16-year-old and her friend.
“We do know that he was, for lack of a better word, brokering the deals, making the arraignments for the meetings of these individuals,” said Greenlaw.
At the meeting, police said Ross told the potential john that he could have sex with the girls, one aged 16 and the other 15, in exchange for money. Ross put together a meeting at a Dunkin Donuts in Fort Lauderdale but was met instead by Fort Lauderdale Police.
Ross’ former neighbors near his West Park home on Edmund Road say they haven’t seen him recently.
“It’s despicable. People like those don’t belong in this neighborhood. We’re a hard working community and we try to make a good living,” said Suresh Chiatar.
Police say he may have been sleeping on friends’ couches or possibly living in his car.
Ross was initially charged with one count of procuring a minor for prostitution and one count of unlawful use of a two-way communication device. But more charges could be filed after investigators found a box of index cards among Ross’ possessions.
“On each index card he would have a female’s first name, he would have different details about their characteristics, what they looked like, their color hair, so forth,” said Greenlaw.
Police said they are in the process of contacting the individuals listed on the cards to possibly identify any additional victims. They ask if you have any information on the crimes call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).