Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo and Voorhees Police Chief Louis Bordi reported a township man and two women have been arrested in connection with a human trafficking case.
Michael D. Watts, 43, of the 1000 block of Oaklyn Court in Voorhees, is accused of luring a 20-year-old Texas woman to New Jersey under the false promise of a modeling job and then forcing her to dance at a Philadelphia strip club for several days without allowing her to leave.
Watts was arrested on Friday in Camden and charged with first-degree human trafficking and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact. He was remanded to the Camden County Jail with bail set at $500,000.
“Human trafficking knows no boundaries and is not just an urban problem, as many people believe,” Chief Bordi said. “Identifying and caring for victims continues to be a high priority for law enforcement and we must look beyond the arrest of suspects as the sole remedy in combating human trafficking. I am encouraged that the victim has been reunited with her family through available social services.”
During the course of the investigation, the victim told detectives Watts provided her with airfare to Philadelphia, picked her up from the airport on Monday, July 13th and took her to his apartment. He allegedly then told the victim that she belonged to him now, threatened that there would be consequences if she tried to leave and took away her cell phone and money.
Watts, known to the victim by the aliases “Chris” and “Daddy,” later allegedly took the victim to Club Cove on the 3100 block of Richmond Avenue in Philadelphia and introduced her to two co-defendants, Staysha L. Hackmann, 25, and Michelle Rolon, 21, both of Voorhees.
Watts allegedly told the victim she had to earn money by dancing. When the victim refused, Hackmann and Rolon allegedly stripped her down and forced her to dance in a partially nude state.
Afterward, Watts allegedly took the victim to a Voorhees hotel, told her she was being watched and indicated there would be consequences if she tried to leave. The victim was forced to dance at the club again on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The victim was taken to stay with Hackmann and Rolon at an apartment on the 1100 block of Bibbs Road in Voorhees between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The victim managed to flee the apartment on Thursday. Hackmann and Rolon allegedly chased the victim in a car and on foot. The victim ran into a bank and asked the employees to call the police.
Hackmann and Rolon were arrested on Thursday and charged with third-degree criminal restraint. Both were remanded to the Camden County Jail with bail set at $25,000 each.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to call Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Michelle Chambers at (856) 580-6070 or Voorhees Police Detective James Buinicky at (856) 882-1111. Tips may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
All persons charged with criminal offenses are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
Released Monday, July 20, 2015.