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.