ST. LOUIS (CN) – A Missouri man and woman pleaded not guilty in Federal Court on charges that they forced a 16-year-old girl into prostitution. Melvin Moore, 26, and Hannah Summers, 24, both of St. Peters, Mo., are charged with felony sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.
The FBI received a tip about an ad featuring an underage girl on a Web site, Backpage.com, and called the number listed on the ad, according to an affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Cynthia Dockery.
The FBI arranged a meeting and then stopped the three women who showed up. Dockery said one was the 16-year-old who claimed she met Moore while out with friends and he promised her a job. When she showed up, Moore allegedly took her cell phone and told her she wasn’t allowed to leave and that she would work as a prostitute.
The girl had sex with about 10 clients in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas, court papers state.
Moore and Summers face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.