BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Police said a man from Arkansas and woman from Oklahoma were arrested in Baton Rouge on human trafficking of a child and other charges Sunday.
The Baton Rouge Police Department said Victor Medlock, 31, of Fort Smith, AR, and Lindsay Lovell, 21, Muldrow, OK, were taken into custody after the victim was found at a hotel on Airline Highway.
Detectives reported their investigation revealed one of the suspects purchased a bus ticket for the girl to get her from Arkansas to Baton Rouge. They also reported an ad was placed on the website Backpage.com promoting sex acts she offered.
Baton Rouge Police, Cpl. L'Jean McKneely said the runaway teen is lucky, because this could have been a whole lot worse.
"Luckily from what we have gathered, they knew one another, but who is to say something more dangerous could have occurred," said McKneely.
According to the probable cause report, the victim's sister contacted BRPD and reported the victim was at the hotel. The document added the victim was a reported runaway with the Muldrow Police Department. According to police, the victim is 16 years old.
Investigators said a clerk at the hotel was shown a picture of the victim and confirmed the girl was seen going in and out of two rooms there. She was reportedly found in a room with Lovell. Police said when they walked into the room they could smell marijuana and according to the report, they saw, "a green leaf like substance wrapped in cigar paper," and placed Lovell under arrest.
Police noted Lovell's newborn baby was also in the room. They added that during questioning Lovell told them there were more drugs in the freezer and a plastic back with what is believed to be marijuana was found inside.
The probable cause report stated Medlock walked into the hotel room and told officers it was his room. He was then arrested as well.
Medlock and Lovell were both booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on the following charges:
Trafficking children for sexual purposes
Promotion of prostitution
Contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile (2 counts)
Possession of marijuana
Illegal use of a dangerous substance in the presence of persons under 17 (2 counts)
Detectives said the teen told them Lovell paid for a bus ticket from Fort Smith, AR, to Baton Rouge. She reportedly added once she arrived in Baton Rouge, Medlock picked her up from the bus station and took her to the hotel.
According to police, the juvenile victim said Lovell put an ad on Backpage promoting the victim for sex. Detectives said they found the ad the teen was talking about and it had her listed as a 19-year-old. They added the ad also had a note indicating the price she charged for her services. The victim reportedly also gave police her cell phone, which was being used as a contact for "johns." Police said they found several calls and messages on it in related to sex acts.
Police said she also told investigators she, Medlock, Lovell and the baby went to an unknown place and Medlock allegedly purchased the marijuana that was found in the hotel room and that the two adults had used drugs in front of her and the baby.
According to the report, an ad for Lovell was also found on Backpage offering sex acts.
Medlock's bond is set at $132,500. Lovell faces an additional charge of prostitution. Her bond is set at $135,000.
The investigation is ongoing.