A 35-year-old man has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge of transporting a 27-year-old woman across state lines for prostitution.
Mark Darryl Saulsberry and an alleged accomplice were accused of drugging the woman before bringing her from Kentucky to San Antonio to have sex with other men. But as part of his federal plea deal, Saulsberry did not admit to drugging anyone and the alleged accomplice, Charlotte Elizabeth Ulrich, 26, is not charged federally.
Saulsberry plans to formally enter the plea at a later hearing that is yet to be scheduled. His plea deal contains a short summary called a factual basis that said he met the victim online in May of this year and, along with Ulrich, went from his home in Tennessee to Louisville, Ky., to meet the victim in person on June 3.
The pair took the victim to Tennessee and talked to her about the benefits of working for them and then took her to San Antonio, where Saulsberry registered and paid for two hotel rooms, according to the factual basis.
He then promoted her online for sex, made her have sex with men and kept the proceeds, the factual basis said.
Related: Police accuse couple of trafficking drugged woman from Tennessee to San Antonio
In documents charging the pair in state court, San Antonio airport police said they encountered the victim after she escaped from the hotel June 6. Those court documents also said the woman appeared to be under the influence of an unspecified substance, but told officers she had gone on a date with Saulsberry in Kentucky and had agreed to travel with him to Tennessee.
At some point, according to police, Saulsberry gave the woman a drink. She reported feeling dizzy and disoriented. She fell asleep and woke up some time later at the hotel in San Antonio.
The woman also told police that at some point, Ulrich pointed a stun gun at her and threatened to harm her if she left. When Saulsberry and Ulrich went to sleep, the victim escaped and ran until she encountered the officers, the state court documents show.
Saulsberry, while being escorted to jail by police officers in June, denied that he or Ulrich were involved in any sort of human trafficking. He said he grew up with the victim and didn’t know why she would fabricate such claims.
On ExpressNews.com: Sold for Sex: How a girl was lured into the sex trade in San Antonio
“We did not traffic that girl,” Saulsberry told reporters at the time. “I work a full-time job.”
Yet within a month of getting charged by the feds, his assistant federal public defender, Alfredo Villarreal, negotiated a deal before the case was taken to a grand jury for federal indictment, records show.
Saulsberry and Ulrich were charged in state court with trafficking of a person, but the Bexar County prosecutors dismissed Saulsberry’s case after the feds decided they were going to prosecute him. Ulrich is out on bail in that state case, awaiting formal indictment, records show.
Saulsberry remains in federal custody, detained without bond. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison without parole for the federal case.
Guillermo Contreras covers federal courts in San Antonio and international legal issues. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | email@example.com | Twitter: @gmaninfedland