VOORHEES, NJ (CBS) – Authorities say a man and two women have been arrested in connection with a human trafficking case in Camden County.
Officials say Michael D. Watts, 43, is accused of luring a 20-year-old Texas woman to New Jersey by promising her a modeling job.
He then allegedly forced her to dance at a Philadelphia strip club for several days, not allowing her to leave.
Authorities say during the course of the investigation, the victim said that Watts provided her with airfare to Philadelphia, picked her up from the airport and took her to his apartment. He allegedly also told the victim she “belonged to him now” and threatened there would be consequences if she tried to leave, taking her cell phone and her money.
Officials say Watts, known to the victim as aliases “Chris” and “Daddy,” took the victim to Club Cove on Richmond Avenue in Philadelphia and allegedly introduced her to Staysha L. Hackmann and Michelle Rolon, both of Voorhees.
Watts allegedly told the victim she must earn money by dancing, and when she refused, Hackmann and Rolon allegedly stripped her of some of her clothes and forced her to dance.
Authorities say Watts later took the victim to a Voorhees hotel and told her she was being watched.
The victim was allegedly forced to dance at the club again on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Officials say the victim was later taken to stay with Hackmann and Rolon on the 1100 block of Bibbs Road in Voorhees between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Authorities say she managed to break loose and Hackmann and Rolon allegedly chased her by car and on foot.
The victim ran into a nearby bank and asked the employees to call the police.
Authorities say Hackmann and Rolon were arrested on Thursday and charged with third-degree criminal restraint.
They were remanded to the Camden County Jail with their bail set at $25,000 each.
Officials say Watts was arrested on Friday and charged with first-degree human trafficking and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact. He was remanded to the Camden County Jail with bail set at $500,000.
“Human trafficking knows no boundaries and is not just an urban problem, as many people believe,” Chief Bordi said. “Identifying and caring for victims continues to be a high priority for law enforcement and we must look beyond the arrest of suspects as the sole remedy in combating human trafficking. I am encouraged that the victim has been reunited with her family through available social services.”