A pimp in New Jersey has confessed to keeping a 16-year-old girl captive as a sex slave, forced to have sex with strangers in cheap motel rooms.
The New York Post reports that Jessica Copeland, 29, has pleaded guilty to second-degree human trafficking. The pimp, who goes by “China White,” is among five people who were indicted in 2015 on suspicion of taking the teen girl from Brooklyn to New Jersey where she was forced to work as a prostitute.
The girl was reportedly threatened with physical violence if she did not agree to cooperate with the demands of the prostitution ring leaders.
“This defendant threatened a 16-year-old girl with violence to keep her trapped in a hellish life of sexual slavery,”, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said in a news release.
“This is a classic case of human trafficking, in which the perpetrators isolated and intimidated a vulnerable victim so they could exploit her for their profit.”
The investigation reportedly began after a South Hackensack police officer saw an ad on Backpage.com offering sex services, accompanied by a photo of a female with her breasts exposed who appeared to be underage.
The undercover offices called the number advertised, and was told he could meet the young girl for “full sex” for a fee of $160. The offer went to a motel on Route 46 in South Hackensack where he was greeted by the girl in the ad. After the bust, police determined that the teenager had been reported missing in New York.
Copeland was reportedly working for a sex trafficking ring run by Glen Bowman Sr., 42, and his wife, Ernestine Bowman, 32, who pleaded guilty last year to second-degree facilitating human trafficking. Bowman, Sr. is facing multiple first-degree charges.
As part of the plea deal, Copeland will serve a six-year prison sentence, with an opportunity for parole after three years.
Feature photo: South Hackensack Police Department