UPDATE: According to court records, Joseph King pleaded nolo contendere on May 17, 2018, to one count of pandering or permitting prostitution. Three other charges of pandering were dismissed. According to the Judiciary website, King was sentenced to five years, with four years and three months suspended, and another five years probation.
CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Police have arrested a registered level 3 sex offender who they say was running a commercial sex operation in Cranston.
According to Cranston police, Joseph King, 43, was arrested after they executed a search warrant at his Potter Street home.
Police said that during the search they recovered a 19-year-old woman who was engaged in commercial sex activity.
The investigation revealed that King was, in fact, conducting a commercial sex operation out of his home, as well as studio apartments above a business on Charles Street in North Providence. Police said he used those apartments as “massage areas.”
Detectives and special agents identified multiple victims of King’s operation during the investigation, according to police, before obtaining a warrant for his arrest on multiple counts of pandering and/or permitting prostitution.
Police said King escaped apprehension but was later located and arrested at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. Tribal police took King into custody based on the Cranston arrest warrant.
King waived extradition back to Rhode Island and is expected to appear in court within the next two weeks.
Cranston police said they are still trying to identify any additional victims of King’s operation. Anyone with information should contact the city’s Special Victims Unit at (401) 477-5062.