Police in New Orleans say they have arrested a man who kept a 13-year-old runaway in a hotel room and trafficked her for sex.
David Jones, 26, was booked into the Orleans Justice Center on Friday, according to jail records, and faces charges of trafficking children for sex purposes, sexual battery, cruelty to a juvenile and second-degree kidnapping. Those charges carry a combined $125,000 bond, but Jones is being held without bond because of an alleged parole violation.
Police say Jones is the man the 13-year-old runaway knew only as “D,” who sold her for sex and demanded she tell the men he sold her to that she was actually 18, according to an arrest warrant obtained by The Advocate.
Police told The Times-Picayune that the girl’s mother reported her missing on Aug. 2.
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Less than a week later, someone called the missing teen’s mother and told her that a live-stream video was being shared on Twitter of a group of men surrounding another man, chanting and cheering him on, as he sexually assaults a young girl, The Advocate reported.
The caller told the girl’s mother that the girl in the video was her missing daughter, according to WVUE.
“This isn’t just a case of putting a girl out on the street or anything like that. This is forcibly removing a girl from New Orleans East and bringing her to the French Quarter and violently threatening her to perform sex acts,” attorney Craig Mordock, who is representing the family, told the station.
The man named “D” forced the teen to have sex with him as well as paying customers, according to the Times-Picayune, in exchange for clothes or with threats of physical assault.
When she told “D’s” customers her real age, 13, the pimp allegedly tightened his grip on her neck, slapped her in the face and insisted she tell the men she was actually 18, WVUE reported.
Mordock told the station that the teen was kept in the hotel room for several days. Soon after the Twitter video surfaced, police say, the teen was dropped off at a relative’s house.
New Orleans police issued the warrant for Jones’ arrest on Aug. 20, according to jail records. He pleaded guilty to charges of simple battery and attempted theft in 2015, according to court records.