COLUMBIA — Kenneth Jones, a 25-year-old Columbia man, was arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking of a minor Thursday. He was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon.
Jones allegedly held a runaway teen from Wisconsin against her will at a Columbia brothel and forced her into sex work.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri:
The teen, identified in court documents as L.V., said she first met Jones at a party in Milwaukee in May 2016 and Jones convinced her to travel to Columbia for prostitution. He offered her clothes and a car in exchange. L.V. began sex work immediately after arriving at a house on Vandiver Drive which was being used as a brothel.
Jones knew L.V. was 17 but hid it so that she could work at the brothel.
After two weeks at the brothel, L.V. said she no longer wanted to work as a prostitute because she found it "sad and degrading," but continued working out of fear.
The FBI and Columbia police rescued L.V. from the brothel in late June 2016 after locating her via cell phone GPS.
Jones was arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking when he appeared at the Boone County Courthouse on an unrelated matter Tuesday.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, sexual exploitation made up more than three-quarters of human trafficking in 2009.
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