Prostitution bust stemming from internet ads leads to two teens' rescue from child sex trafficking
LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - The Lexington Police Department says undercover officers working a prostitution bust managed to not only arrest two on child sex trafficking, but the rescue of two 16-year-old girls forced into prostitution.
LPD officers have charged India Tykeyeh Cuyler, 23, and Donnell Salethian Woodard, 29, with various charges connected with the bust such as sex trafficking of a minor. Cuyler was additionally charged with driving under suspension. Woodard was also charged with simple possession of marijuana and was wanted by Probation, Pardon and Parole for probation violations.
Investigators said the bust happened on Nov. 21, when undercover officers posing as "Johns" responding to Backpage.com and Craigslist.org ads. During one of the busts, a 16-year-old girl came to the hotel room in order to participate in prostitution. Officers acted quickly, police said, and placed her into emergency protective custody.
The girl then told officers she had been coerced into prostitution by Cuyler and Woodard and had been staying with them at a West Columbia hotel. The girl said another 16-year-old girl was forced into prostitution as well. The second minor was also rescued.
"Human Trafficking isn't just a problem in large cities or tourist hot spots," Chief Terrence Green said in a statement. "These cases are proof that Human Trafficking, whether sexual or forced labor, can be found in all communities big or small. The arrest of these subjects and the 'rescue' of this juvenile is a direct result of our investigators becoming more educated on the scope of the problem and how to address it. Citizens should have an open dialog on Human Trafficking and not let these crimes be ones that are whispered about and swept under the rug due to their nature."
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