How Five Women Escaped Sex Slavery in Michigan

Hayley MacMillen
Cosmopolitan
Photo credit: Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved
Photo credit: Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

From Cosmopolitan

Photo credit: Michigan Department of Corrections
Photo credit: Michigan Department of Corrections

On Nov. 17, Richard Jackson, a 67-year-old Detroit man, was charged with sex trafficking after a woman called 911 to report an assault at his house. When police arrived, they discovered three women who said they had been held there and forced to prostitute; one said she had been under Jackson's control for two months but it's unclear how long the others had been. One of the women said she had helped two girls being held in sex slavery by Jackson - one 15 years old, the other 12 to 14 years old - escape through a bathroom window earlier that day. The whereabouts of the teens are still unknown.

According to an FBI agent's affidavit obtained by the Detroit Free Press, Jackson "would get the girls hooked on [heroin] in order to keep them at the house ... Once (they were) addicted, Jackson and his associates began making the girls do commercial sex dates and move drugs for them." He was charged with sex trafficking for allegedly running a prostitution ring out of the house and forcing women to go on "sex dates" arranged on Backpage.com, both at the house and elsewhere, and to walk the streets looking for clients. The criminal complaint filed in the case says that Jackson locked the women and teens in an upstairs room behind a steel gate to keep them from escaping and beat them if they displeased him. One woman reported that Jackson broke her arm after she told him she wanted to stop prostituting, sending her to the hospital. After her release, Jackson reportedly broke the same arm a second time. Police are still searching for the teen girls who escaped Jackson's house Thursday.

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