What to Know
- The victim thought she was going to babysit one of the defendants' kids and was forced to become a prostitute, officials say
- She had to sleep with up to five men a day during three- or four-night stays at NJ motels; she escaped after 10 days of the nightmare
- A man and his girlfriend have been indicted on charges of human trafficking of a minor and other crimes in connection with the case
A 19-year-old New Jersey man and his 28-year-old girlfriend have been indicted for allegedly forcing a 17-year-old girl into prostitution at local motels, where she was sometimes made to sleep with up to five men a day, and snort crystal methamphetamine, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday.
A state grand jury indicted Christopher White, of Eastampton, and Adria Regn, of Mount Holly, Monday on charges of conspiracy, human trafficking of a minor, promoting prostitution of a minor and offenses related to child pornography and other crimes.
Prosecutors say the couple has been held in the Burlington County jail since their arrests in May.
The investigation began after the victim reported she was forced by White and Regn to work as a prostitute at various hotels where the defendants lived in Burlington County for a period of 10 days in October 2016.
Regn has two young children, and the victim, who knew White, went to the first motel believing she would be babysitting the children, prosecutors said. Instead, White and Regn allegedly gave her drugs, including crystal methamphetamine and marijuana, and told her that she needed to work as an “escort” for them so that they could make money.
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They allegedly said that if she did not work for them, it would be her fault if Regn’s children ended up on the street. White allegedly threatened to beat the victim if she did not take crystal meth, and he also allegedly threatened to find her and beat her if she did not continue to work for them as a prostitute.
White and Regn allegedly placed a number of ads on Backpage.com with photos of the victim in various states of undress, including completely nude, advertising the girl’s services as an escort, according to prosecutors. White and Regn, who would stay in the same room as the victim or an adjoining room, would arrange for clients to meet the victim for sex and then collected all of the money paid by the clients, the indictment alleges. The victim did not receive money.
During a three- or four-day stay at a motel in Wrightstown, White and Regn allegedly made the victim have sex with at least five men each day. The victim ultimately fled while White and Regn were asleep and contacted authorities.
"This is a classic case of human trafficking where these defendants allegedly trapped an underage girl in dehumanizing circumstances in which they gave her drugs and forced her to have sex with multiple men per day,” New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino said in a statement. "It’s terrible for anyone to be exploited in this manner, but it’s especially heartbreaking when the victim is so young and vulnerable."
White and Regn face 20 years to life in state prison without parole, and a fine of $200,000, if convicted of the top trafficking count against them. A message was left with their public defenders' office in New Jersey.