She thought she could depend on the kindness of strangers, but federal prosecutors say a 17-year-old girl lured by an offer of free room and board was instead forced into prostitution.
Steven E. Thompson, 42, and Tierra Michelle Waters, 30, both of Atlanta, were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges of sex trafficking of a juvenile and conspiring to do the same. Each charge carries the possibility of life in prison.
“These defendants preyed on a young girl in need requiring her to have sex with men if she wanted to keep a roof over her head,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in the news release.
Prosecutors said the girl was told she could stay at Thompson’s Buckhead condominium, but after moving in, she was informed that she would be required to engage in sexual acts in order to pay the rent. They advertised her availability on Backpage.com, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, sometimes as 19-year-old Sasha, others as Naomi, 20. Her price, or “donation,” as the defendants allegedly referred to it in the ads: $150 an hour.
Both suspects are currently in federal custody, with bond hearings scheduled for Thompson on Tuesday and Waters on May 31.
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