A Columbia woman and Rocheport man have been charged in a case of sex trafficking a child with disabilities, according to court records.

Renee M. Collins was charged Tuesday with sex trafficking of a child and endangering the welfare of a child.

William A. Thomas Jr., of Rocheport, was charged with first degree rape or attempted rape, according to court records.

A witness said the two are a couple, according to the probable cause statement.

Police have issued warrants for the  arrest of both Collins and Williams. Bond was set at $200,000 in each case.

On July 7, 2017, the FBI told the Columbia Police Department about a potential human trafficking case at The Welcome Inn in Columbia. An agent said he had received a tip that a child was being left in a hotel room with strange men, according to the statement.

Authorities investigated the hotel, and a witness told them they'd seen the child left with strange people for long periods of time, according to the statement. The witness said there was one instance where two men offered Collins cocaine in exchange for having sex with the child.

The witness also told authorities there was a particular instance where she thought the child was drugged.

Authorities took the child into protective custody later that day, where the child gave authorities further details about being raped, including that Collins was sometimes in the room.

The child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and functions at a 2- to 3-year-old level despite being much older.

  • State government reporter and graduate journalism student at the University of Missouri. Graduated with a BA in journalism from The University of Alabama in 2018.

Recommended for you