Charges Dropped Against Former Broward Teacher Accused of Recruiting Hundreds for Sex Trafficking

James Sylvester Ross, 63, has been released from jail

Friday, Mar 14, 2014  |  Updated 2:30 PM EDT
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Former Broward Teacher Tried to Recruit Hundreds for Sex Trafficking: Cops

A former Broward Christian School teacher and coach arrested earlier this month was recruiting juvenile and adult females for sex trafficking, police said Wednesday. NBC 6's Claudia DoCampo reports.
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A former Broward Christian School teacher and coach arrested for allegedly recruiting juvenile and adult females for sex trafficking is no longer facing charges, authorities said.

James Sylvester Ross, 63, has been released from jail, the Broward State Attorney's Office said Friday.

Ross was busted in an undercover police operation on Feb. 5th. Members of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department's human trafficking unit posed as teenage girls and another undercover detective posed as a potential client. Ross told the undercover client he could have sex with the juveniles in exchange for money and arranged for the three to meet, police said.

But a memo from the State Attorney's Office concluded Ross had been entrapped by police, according to the Sun-Sentinel.  Ross refused to do anything illegal despite repeated pressure from the undercover officers, and had urged an officer posing as a 16-year-old girl to quit prostitution and even threatened to call the police himself, according to the memo.

Fort Lauderdale Police, who claimed Ross had more than 300 index cards listing a different female's first name with descriptive characteristics, a telephone number and the female's hobbies or interests when he was arrested, denied the entrapment claim.

"The Fort Lauderdale Police Department disagrees with the conclusion made by Assistant State Attorney Dennis Nicewander in regards to the case involving defendant James Ross.  Our agency considers this a very active investigation and will be requesting the State Attorney’s Office to re-review this case in its entirety," the department said in a statement.

Ross, who had been held in jail since his Feb. 5 arrest, told the paper his reputation has been tarnished.

"It's going to be hard to get a job again," he said. "Thousands of kids I've taught for 30 years – then suddenly this. There's no amount of money that will pay you back for this."

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