Pros­ti­tute known as ‘Pretty Hoe’ charged in sex traf­fick­ing

Imperial Valley Press - - LOCAL & REGION - BY BRIAN MEL­LEY

LOS AN­GE­LES — A pros­ti­tute who made lit­tle se­cret about her line of work, dub­bing her­self “Pretty Hoe” and ad­ver­tis­ing widely on so­cial me­dia, was charged Tues­day with re­cruit­ing mi­nors to be hook­ers.

Melanie De­nae Wil­liams was in­dicted in U.S. Dis­trict Court with traf­fick­ing mi­nors for sex and us­ing force or fraud to co­erce an adult into pros­ti­tu­tion. The in­dict­ment names Wil­liams through­out by her “Pretty Hoe” moniker that she used on an of­fi­cial web­site that dubbed her “the most hated hoe in LA.”

Wil­liams, 22, was ar­rested Christ­mas Eve af­ter forc­ing a woman she re­cruited for pros­ti­tu­tion through so­cial me­dia to strip naked and then threw bleach on her and beat her with a broom­stick, ac­cord­ing to an af­fi­davit by FBI Agent Emily Tripp.

Deputy Fed­eral De­fender David Wasser­man re­fused to com­ment on the case. Wil­liams is be­ing held in cus­tody and faces ar­raign­ment Fri­day.

The vic­tim iden­ti­fied only by her ini­tials told po­lice Wil­liams had forced her to sell sex and took all the pro­ceeds, Tripp said. When the woman tried to part com­pany, Wil­liams threat­ened to kill her and her fam­ily.

Wil­liams forced the woman to tat­too “Melanie” on her wrist and face to show she was her prop­erty, Tripp said.

A video on Wil­liams’ phone showed a gun pointed at the al­leged vic­tim and a voice, be­lieved to be Wil­liams, ask­ing her if she planned to leave.

Tripp said videos on YouTube showed Wil­liams beat­ing un­known young women and also threat­en­ing them with a gun. Her post­ings on so­cial me­dia were re­plete with ex­ple­tives.

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