A Fresno man arrested this week has been charged with forcing a 13-year-old girl into prostitution, marking the latest attempt by local law enforcement to get tough on sex trafficking in Houston.
Kolbe Doyle, 19, was arrested Tuesday after authorities received a tip about a girl possibly being held against her will and being used for sex trafficking, according to the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office.
Deputies found a man, later identified as Doyle, with a Fort Bend County girl who had been reported as a “runaway” by family members. Constable Mark Herman said Doyle and the girl were in a car in the 23600 block of Tree House Lane in Spring, leaving the location just as deputies were arriving.
Once the girl was separated from the man, she told deputies that he was making her perform sexual acts on people against her will, authorities said.
The teenage girl told deputies she was forced into the industry after she met Doyle through an online dating app and he brought her to Houston, according to the constable’s office.
“She told the deputy, ‘I came here thinking this guy was going to be my boyfriend,'” Herman said.
The girl had been with Doyle for about a week, she told deputies.
“We feel like we caught it right in the infancy of this whole deal,” Herman said.
Doyle was charged with trafficking a minor and compelling prostitution of a minor. He is currently booked in the Harris County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. Both charges are first-degree felonies, and each carry sentences of two to 99 years, if convicted, Herman said.
A second person who was at the scene with Doyle is expected to be charged in this case, the constable said.
Doyle is the most recent accused sex seller to be arrested in Houston. Agencies are working to retool efforts to curb prostitution, focusing on suspected sellers instead of on arresting women who have been previously victimized or forced into prostitution.
The Houston area is often cited as the country’s hub for sex trafficking, and officials have made several public declarations that they intend to go after sex buyers and procurers.
The girl, at 13, is the youngest sex trafficking victim whom the constable’s office has found in a while, Herman said. Still, the office is dealing with sex trafficking more frequently as people find more creative ways to force people into the industry, he said.
It’s “becoming more and more prevalent with social media,” Herman said. “It’s easier for folks to conduct this kind of business.”