A Florida woman and man are charged with human trafficking for allegedly forcing a 35-year-old mother into prostitution.
Lodier Adam Elveus Jr., 20, and Shanteria Denise Bernadet Ferguson, 26, both of West Palm Beach, were arrested.
According to the arrest reports, they took advantage of the woman who had left her boyfriend recently after a domestic dispute. Ferguson befriended her and offered her a place to stay and help with getting custody of her children.
She woke up in Ferguson’s home one day to find Elveus standing over the bed with a gun saying, “[If] you want to lay in this bed you need to make some money,” records show.
Ferguson took pictures that the woman thought would be posted online. Investigators said they later found phone records that showed Elveus and Ferguson had posted over 300 advertisements for prostitution on a website.
The woman said she was forced to engage in sex acts with seven or eight men, police said.
Someone alerted West Palm Beach police. Officers visited Ferguson’s house to do a welfare check. At the time, the woman told them everything was fine but she would later explain she lied because they threatened to harm her, investigators said.
The woman managed to climb out a window and run to a neighbor to get help.
Ferguson and Elveus are charged with keeping a house of ill fame for prostitution, kidnapping and false imprisonment, living off the earnings of prostitution, and coercing commercial sexual activity for human trafficking, among other counts. They are being held without bond in the Palm Beach County Jail, records show.