A sex-trafficking case involving two teen girls and three suburban women is unfolding in federal court where a 67-year-old parolee was charged Friday with holding the females against their will, drugging them, selling them into prostitution -- and beating them if they didn't perform well.
The victims include two teenage girls — one 15; the other 12 to 14 — who remain missing after one of the women helped them escape from a bathroom window, according to the criminal complaint. One of the young girls had been beaten in the face, a source told the Free Press. The adult victims — one of whom is 31 and two others who are 21 — are all from Downriver.
The accused is Richard Jackson, a habitual offender from Detroit with 17 aliases who has been in and out of prison for most of his adult life for crimes including armed robbery, drug possession and assault.
On Thursday, Jackson was charged in U.S. District Court with sex trafficking for allegedly running a prostitution ring out of a house on South Electric in southwest Detroit and forcing women to "walk the track" as prostitutes at Michigan and Livernois, as well as pimping them out on the Internet. To keep them from escaping, he locked them in an upstairs room and kept a steel gate at the top of the stairs, according to the criminal complaint filed in the case.
Authorities were tipped off about the sex ring at about 1 p.m. Thursday, when Detroit police received a 911 call from a woman inside the house saying that someone had been knocked down. When police arrived, one woman told the officers that she was being held against her will and forced to prostitute.