Former sex slave: I was chained in basement and sold - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Former sex slave: I was chained in basement and sold

Sex crimes detectives said that Nashville is part of a four-city human trafficking "loop" that also includes Birmingham, Memphis and Atlanta. Sex crimes detectives said that Nashville is part of a four-city human trafficking "loop" that also includes Birmingham, Memphis and Atlanta.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Law enforcement and rescuers of sex slaves report that because of a saturation of human trafficking in the deep South, more human traffickers are bringing young girls to Middle Tennessee.

"The trafficker said to them (slaves) on the way here, I'm taking you to Nashville because I can make more money off you there," said Derri Smith, executive director of End Slavery.

Sex crimes detectives said that Nashville is part of a four-city human trafficking "loop" that also includes Birmingham, Memphis and Atlanta.

"It's almost like a circuit," said an undercover Metro sex crimes detective.

Investigators said the girls are taken from city to city.

The TBI estimates in Davidson and Coffee counties there have been more than 200 recent cases of minors being sold into slavery.

Photographs obtained by the Channel 4 I-Team from law enforcement show the circumstances where the girls are kept.

One photograph shows a gun in a bathtub where a girl was duct-taped and left for hours.

Another shows the kinds of tickets, often seen in carnivals, that are used to sell the girls.

One group of photos shows shrines set up in hotel rooms to Santa Muerte, a kind of cult, where pimps pray for protections from cops and other competition.

"The youngest investigation I've worked was on a 12-year-old," said the undercover detective.

A survivor of a sex trafficking loop agreed to share her story with the Channel 4 I-Team.

"Stephanie," who is now 18 years old, is currently in Middle Tennessee, brought here by investigators while the men charged with selling her are being prosecuted on the West Coast.

She is getting counseling and help from the nonprofit End Slavery that interviewed her this year, and both they, and Stephanie, agreed to share that interview with Channel 4.

Stephanie said she was 15 when she was first sold into slavery. She said an older man showed her affection and then drugged her.

"I woke up, and I was being raped by everybody in the room," she said.

She said the man then threatened her and said she needed to leave town with him or he would come after her family. After traveling with him for a while, she said the man took her to an abandoned house.

"He chained me to a pole in a basement. I was there for a while," she said.

Stephanie said in that basement, she found she wasn't the only girl being held captive.

"She was all filthy, she was all scared to talk. One day they came down to feed us, and they caught us talking. Then they put her upstairs. And after that, I never seen her again," Stephanie said.

But her ordeal in the loop was just getting started.

"He sold me to a gang member. He (the gang member) made me wear heels, made me wear lingerie to the clubs. He made me prostitute myself," she said.

Finally, she was arrested by police, and revealed her true age.

"I told him my name, I told him my age, I told him when I went missing, I told him how long I was missing," she said.

After agreeing to testify against her abductors, she is now getting help from End Slavery, including documenting on camera how she survived.

"It was totally her idea. She approached us. She said, 'Do you know any journalists? I want to tell my story.' She's ready to have a voice," Smith said.

Smith said Stephanie is working on getting her GED and has a job.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Inside WECT.comMore>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • 'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    Friday, April 28 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-04-28 21:45:21 GMT
    (Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)(Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly