MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Shelby County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man for holding two teens against their will as prostitutes advertised on backpage.com.
On Wednesday, August 1, investigators were looking into a possible sex trafficking case near Highway 70 and Chester Street in the Arlington area. Around 2 a.m., deputies located two teen girls, ages 16 and 19, who told the deputies they had taken a bus to Memphis from Racine, Wisconsin. The 19-year-old stated she came to work for 31-year-old La Ron Matlock, whom she thought was a record promoter, after meeting him on Facebook.
When the teen arrived in Memphis July 15 with her 16-year-old friend, Matlock revealed he had placed an ad in backpage.com to pimp them as prostitutes.
According to an affidavit of complaint, the teens were held at an Econo Lodge in Nashville until July 28 where they were forced to have sex with several men for money, which was handed over to Matlock. The victims also stated they were locked up at Matlock's south Memphis home, beaten if they refused to work, and given drugs to keep them awake for days at a time.
"He also strip searched them after every encounter to make sure he received all the money he was due," added Chip Washington with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.
La Ron Matlock was arrested and charged with Promoting Prostitution, Aggravated Kidnapping, Especially Aggravated Kidnapping and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. He is being held at the Shelby County Jail on $250,000 bond.