SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A woman and her accomplice kidnapped two teen girls and forced them to work as prostitutes, according to authorities.

The Sacramento Police Department said April Hart targeted the 17-year-old and 18-year-old victims after they couldn’t repay a debt to her.

Hart allegedly found “Johns” on the internet and on the street and transported the teens to them to perform sexual acts for money. Another suspect, 30-year-old Justin Steele, acted as the enforcer for the operation, police said.

“The female did more of the pandering and assisted in facilitating the prostitution,” said Sgt. Norm Leong.

The suspects allegedly held the victims against their will and Steele assaulted them when they would not cooperate, authorities said.

Hart and Steele would sometimes send the teens to Reno to meet men, but one of the teens was eventually able to contact a friend, who then contacted police.

Both suspects were arrested on a number of charges including kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and prostitution. Hart is being held on $300,000 bail and Steele is being held on $150,000 bail.

Comments (6)
  1. Michelle B says:

    @Marvin Williams
    Are you kidding me? People can be forced to do any number of things, especially immature and frightened 17 & 18 year old girls! You don’t know what these suspects did to coerce, threaten and force these gilrs to do this. Your daughter may be a confident girl who can hold her own, but not all are and you don’t know what she would do if someone threatened her or her family.
    Your statement is akin to blaming a rape victim for being raped! Shame on you.

  2. Leann Pratte-Walson says:

    Mr Williams, are you insane… did you read the article? These girls were beaten when they didn’t cooperate! It doesn’t matter if you think because they are 17 and 18 they could protect themselves!! Your an idiot and should be ashamed for your comment. I feel for your daughter and hope no harm comes to her or she will get no sympathy from you.

  3. Jenni T says:

    People like you should NEVER be a parent

    Please do explain how it is that you are so certain that these girls did this because they wanted to. Where you there? Did you witness this? I won’t bother to ask you if you actually read the article because it is obvious that you didn’t and if you did and still say that you are just as sick in the head as those 2 crack heads you are protecting.

  4. Ron Golden says:

    Let the law system handle it.

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