An undercover investigation by local and state authorities this week led them to a 16-year-old girl and a 19-year-old woman who say they were forced into having sex with multiple men daily in exchange for money they paid directly to their pimp.
A tip from a hotel employee Thursday night led authorities to a man accused of prostituting both victims.
Jeremie Jamocus Tate, 32, of Zachary, was arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of human trafficking and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile by sexual immoral acts, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The 19-year-old woman told authorities she had worked for Tate for several months, including when she previously lived in Las Vegas. The girl, on the other hand, had only worked for him for several days, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Both said they were forced to give all of the money they made directly to Tate.
The girl told authorities she wanted to escape her situation but that Tate would not allow her to leave. The woman gave similar statements, adding that he had physically assaulted her when she had tried to leave in the past, the affidavit says.
The woman was booked into Parish Prison early Thursday on prostitution counts, while the juvenile was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Detention Center, also for prostitution, according to the affidavit and Parish Prison records.
Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office first contacted State Police troopers on Wednesday after receiving a cyber tip that a 16-year-old girl was offering sexual services in an advertisement on Backpage.com, the affidavit says.
Authorities then coordinated an investigation with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office which led to an undercover deputy arranging a meeting Wednesday evening with the girl and the woman in what the ad described as a “two girl special,” the affidavit says.
Upon meeting the girl and the woman in a hotel room at the Courtyard Marriott in the 2400 block of South Acadian Thruway, the deputy agreed to pay them $800 for an hour and half of sexual acts, the affidavit says.
Soon after, deputies broke down the locked hotel room door with a battering ram and arrested the accused prostitutes, the affidavit says.