DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Detroit man and Saginaw woman have been ordered to prison after federal sex trafficking and child pornography convictions involving three girls.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit says 36-year-old Willie Curry was sentenced to 35 years and 37-year-old Tammy Pollard received a 25-year-sentence. Curry was also convicted of illegally possessing a firearm.
Trial evidence showed the 15- and 16-year-old girls were runaways. They were transported from Mount Pleasant to Detroit with promises of new clothing, cellphones and offers to take care of them.
Authorities say that once in Detroit, the girls were physically abused and threatened. Curry used violence and threats to control his victims, including beating one victim with a metal broomstick when she disobeyed his rules, according to U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.
Pollard assisted Curry by driving the minors around Detroit looking for men who would pay to have sex with them, McQuade said. Pollard also helped create the child pornography which was sent out to possible “Johns,” and explicit photos taken were used in ads for commercial sex acts.
Eventually, one of the girls was raped after refusing to have sex with strangers. She escaped the next day and later spoke with police who rescued the other two girls.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Southeastern Michigan Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Mt. Pleasant Police Department and Michigan State Police.
“The offenses in this case, against our society’s most vulnerable members, our youth, are nothing short of horrific” said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI, in a statement.
“The FBI takes human trafficking crimes very seriously and is committed to investigating the systematic abuse and exploitation of children and adults. This case further highlights the incredible work routinely performed by the member agencies of the Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes Task Force (SEMTEC) along with our state and local partners. Their work makes it possible for victims of sexual exploitation to regain their freedom and, importantly their human dignity.”
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