A detective’s response to an ad on Backpage.com led to the arrest of a Georgia teenager at a Nashville motel on sex trafficking charges.
Metro police arrested Prontiss Houseworth Friday at the Knights Inn on Spring Street and charged him with four counts of trafficking for sexual servitude, one count of promoting prostitution and a weapon charge for allegedly carrying brass knuckles. Police found four young women — two 18-year-olds, a 23-year-old and a 24-year-old — with Houseworth but consider them victims in Houseworth’s alleged crimes.
The four women have not been charged in connection to the investigation.
According to police, the man forced the women to travel with him from Atlanta to Nashville where an undercover officer, responding to the online ad, met two of the women at the motel and made a deal to have sex with them for $180 plus a $20 tip.
One of the alleged victims told police Houseworth threatened to kill the women and their families if the women didn’t cooperate with him, calling them “slaves” and saying “the only way that they could leave was in a body bag,” according to a police affidavit.
One of the women also allegedly told police Houseworth punched her in the head and duct-taped her hands together and her mouth shut.
Houseworth, from Conyers, Ga., is being held in lieu of $150,000 bond. The FBI is assisting in the case.