ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WPRI/AP) -- A Providence couple is facing charges for allegedly kidnapping a woman, driving her to Maryland and forcing her into prostitution.
According to the 24-year-old victim, Gary Maddox, 29, and Amina Philip, 27, befriended her and offered her money to help them sell various items.
But instead, the woman claims they drove her to Connecticut and said Maddox told her she had to have sex with customers for money, and threatened to harm or kill her if she didn't.
"Over the course of the last three days, they were forcing her into prostitution in multiple states," Sherry Llewellyn of the Howard County Police Department said.
The woman also said Philip took photos of her and posted them in advertisements on BackPage.com.
She managed to call police from a Maryland gas station and reported she had been kidnapped by two people in Rhode Island. The woman said the couple drove to Connecticut and forced her to have sex with customers and had to turn over all the money to Maddox and Philip.
Maddox and Philip were charged with multiple human trafficking and prostitution offenses. Maddox also was charged with kidnapping. Both are being held at the Howard County Detention Center, Philip on $750,000 bond and Maddox on $1 million.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated human trafficking case, police were called to a fire station on Oct. 3 by a woman who said she had been beaten by her pimp. She said she was forced to have sex with men.
"She's actually been forced to be a prostitute for the last two years-- working for the same suspect," Llewellyn said.
Officers arrested 32-year-old Craig Anderson, of no fixed address, and charged him with human trafficking, prostitution and assault.
Just like the case involving the Rhode Island couple, Anderson also solicited customers on BackPage.com.
"It's becoming more and more concerning for law enforcement. it really is a coincidence that in each of these individual and separate situations that website was used in both cases."
Victims advocates said human trafficking is an emerging problem in Maryland.
"We know that for every girl we find, for e very young boy that is identified that there is potentially another hundred," Melissa Snow of Turnaround said.
In Howard County, Maryland, officers are specially trained to deal with forced prostitution. One detective is assigned solely to human trafficking cases.
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