Gruesome Story of Forced Prostitution

LOUISVILLE (CN) - Owners of an escort service imprisoned a woman in their home for a month and forced her into prostitution, from which she escaped by cutting her wrist so help would be called, she claims in court.
     A.R. sued John Jeff Hull, Becky Hull and their company Jefbek Inc., in Federal Court.
     Jefbek is a Fisherville, Ky.-based escort agency also known as JB Business Group, Aabana's Secrets, AAA Aabana's, Above All Escorts and Cheetah's Escorts, according to the lawsuit filed on Christmas Eve.
     A.R. claims the Hulls imprisoned her in involuntary servitude for more than a month, putting her to forced labor as a prostitute for their own profit.
     "From approximately Jan. 1, 2013, until her escape on or about Feb. 4, 2013, plaintiff was confined to and harbored in the Hull defendants' residence in Fisherville,
     Ky.," the complaint states.
     "Throughout the aforementioned time period, defendants used force, fraud, or coercion to cause plaintiff to remain in the residence and engage in prostitution against her will.
     "Defendants did so utilizing a variety of methods including but not limited to the following: telling plaintiff that if she did not engage in prostitution they would contact Child Protective Services and prevent her from obtaining visitation and/or custody of her child; causing plaintiff to believe that if she left the house she would be arrested; interfering with plaintiff's ability to complete certain legal obligations; limiting plaintiff's contact with the outside world; and limiting plaintiff's access to a telephone and monitoring all her telephone conversations.
     "Defendants also routinely transported plaintiff to a number of places to engage in paid sexual acts with their clients.
     "During the entirety of her captivity by the defendants, defendants benefitted financially from plaintiff's prostitution. Upon information and belief, the Hull defendants engaged in such activities in furtherance of Jefbek, Inc.
     "On or about Feb. 4, 2013, in order to escape the Hull defendants' residence, plaintiff cut her wrist so that emergency personnel would be called. Defendants were arrested for the actions set forth above.
     "In undertaking the conduct described herein, defendants conspired with each other and with others who have yet to be identified.
     "Defendants' actions described herein constituted a scheme, plan or pattern intended to cause plaintiff to believe that failure to remain in defendants' custody would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against her and/or constituted the abuse and threatened abuse of the legal process."
     A.R. seeks compensatory and punitive damages for forced labor, involuntary servitude, human trafficking, false imprisonment, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
     She is represented by Colin Lindsay with Dinsmore & Shohl.
     According to Lindsay, the Hulls took in A.R. and her family when she was evicted from her home and was fighting for custody of her daughter. The Hulls, whom A.R. considered friends, took advantage of her vulnerability and coerced her into prostitution after A.R.'s husband moved out of the Hulls' home, the attorney told Courthouse News.
     Lindsay says police investigated after A.R. slit her wrist and the Hulls had to call emergency personnel.
     In April, the Hulls were charged with human trafficking and two counts of promoting prostitution by forcing a woman - allegedly A.R. - to work as a prostitute. Their criminal cases are pending and they are scheduled to be back in court in February, according to Kentucky news reports.
     "Americans need to know that human trafficking is real, and that it is occurring throughout the United States," Lindsay said in a telephone interview.
     "Human trafficking does not usually rely on locks and chains. Perpetrators use threats and coercion to control their victims. In our case, the defendants threatened to call Child Protective Services in an attempt to deny my client custody of her daughter."
     Lindsay said police treated A.R. fairly during the investigation and did not charge her with any crimes.
     "Until recently, it was not unusual for the focus of the criminal investigation to be on the trafficked person, rather than on the trafficker," the attorney added. "Law enforcement, the courts and the media have learned not to criminalize the trafficked person, and that is making the fight against human trafficking more successful."
     Attorneys for the Hulls did not respond to requests for comment.