MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A 21-year-old woman was rescued from a man who reportedly wanted to force her into prostitution.
The woman, who had been living for the last six months in the Keys with her boyfriend, checked into a Miami Springs motel on May 4th after the pair had a fight.
The following day she was approached by 33-year-old Gregory Sutton.
According to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office, Sutton tried to convince her to work for him as a prostitute and he would take care of everything.
“Predators know what they’re looking for. They’re looking for who’s vulnerable, looks destitute. He met her at breakfast and immediately said he wanted to put her into the business of prostitution,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
Sutton reportedly told the woman he needed pictures of her to post online to drum up business. The woman said out of fear she gave Sutton the pictures he wanted.
Sutton told the woman that she would charge $200 for 30 minutes of sexual activity and provided her with make-up, false eyelashes, and nail polish, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
The woman would later tell investigators that Sutton allegedly took additional steps in his planned prostitution operation and said he would provide security while she engaged in the sexual activity.
On May 6th, Sutton reportedly told the woman he was going to start placing ads online and setting up her “dates.”
The woman did not want to go through with it and locked herself in her motel room.
“She locked the door, called a friend and that friend, fortunately, the friend had the wherewithal, the wisdom. to call the Miami Springs police department.
They, in turn, got in touch with the State Attorney’s Office Human Trafficking Task Force.
An investigation was launched and Sutton was arrested.
“I’m really glad that she managed to ask for help and she recognized the danger she was in,” said Lina Thompson who knows first hand about sex trafficking.
She’s a survivor and now helps others. She said the woman was very brave when she made the decision to get help.
“In this case with this girl, it was good she sensed something was not okay and stepped it up and called for help because if she hadn’t done that, she would have been trafficked and probably would have come to the point where she would become forced, and beaten up, and probably moved to another state or place to be trafficked,” said Thompson.
Thompson said for those who have fallen victim to sex trafficking fear of the trafficker can be paralyzing.
“The fear is so great that even if you have a door in front of you, an exit where you can go, many of those girls don’t take this chance because they’re so terrified based on what they’ve been through. They’re living in pure hell,” she said.
At the time of his arrest, several illegal drugs were reportedly found in Sutton’s possession.
He’s facing multiple charges including human trafficking, a first-degree felony, possession of cocaine, possession of hallucinogens, attempt to derive proceeds from prostitution, and soliciting another to commit prostitution.