Chattanooga police were able to document their first reported case of sex trafficking over the weekend.
A 21-year-old Baltimore woman was kept captive in a local hotel last week and prostituted to johns through an ad posted on Backpage.com, according to a Chattanooga police arrest report.
The woman, who was held against her will, was reportedly prostituted out and held captive by a 31-year-old Atlanta man for several days.
Khari Matthew “King Black” Troutman faces charges of domestic assault, kidnapping and promoting prostitution.
The woman told police she met Troutman at a Comfort Inn in Silver Springs, Md. She said she agreed to work for him as a prostitute. She was pimped out through online ads in Knoxville, Chattanooga and in North Carolina, according to the report.
When the woman told Troutman she would leave and find a way back to Maryland without him, he reportedly beat her. She begged him to let her eat and he walked her to a near-by Applebee’s restaurant on Shallowford Village Drive. She was able to go to the restroom and borrow someone’s cellphone to call police.
When Troutman was questioned by police he said he was in a romantic relationship with the woman. He said he and his friend, “Killa” were sightseeing with the woman and two other prostitutes from Georgia and Kentucky. He said she chose to prostitute herself, according to the arrest report.
In 2011, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Vanderbilt University conducted a statewide study that found there were more than 100 cases of human sex trafficking documented by social service agencies in Chattanooga. At the time, no local law enforcement agency had any reports of sex trafficking. The woman’s case reported on Friday marked the first.
Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.