Elizabeth man charged with 10 counts of human trafficking

An Elizabeth man has been arrested and charged with 10 counts of first-degree human trafficking, acting Union County Prosecutor Ann M. Luvera announced Wednesday.

Milton Valentine, 47, is additionally charged with second-degree sexual assault and third-degree promoting prostitution.

A three-month Special Victims Unit investigation into Valentine’s activities was initiated through a tip submitted via a nationwide human trafficking hotline, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Sheets, who is prosecuting the case. The investigation revealed that the two female victims in this matter, both of whom were 18 when they met Valentine, were forced to exchange sex acts for cash at hotels across the state through a pattern of intimidation and threats of violence, Sheets said.

Members of the Prosecutor’s Office arrested Valentine without incident Tuesday night, and he remains in custody pending a first appearance scheduled to be held this afternoon. A detention hearing then will be scheduled for the coming days.

Anyone with any information about Valentine’s actions is being urged to contact Special Victims Unit Sgt. Sofia Santos at 908-866-8007.

Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.