Salt Lake City police on Monday arrested a man and a woman for alleged interstate sex trafficking after a woman told police she had escaped from a pimp who allegedly kidnapped her in New York City.
The investigation began Sunday night about 9:30 p.m. when the 23-year-old woman called 911, saying she had fled her abductor and was running across a parking lot at 600 S. 110 East. Officers found her hiding behind a pillar.
She told police she had been kidnapped "two to three weeks ago." According to jail documents, the man struck the woman three times, knocking her unconscious. The woman had a scar and large swollen area near her eye, police wrote.
The woman said she was taken to Chicago, where she was raped twice. She also said she was taken to Grand Junction, Colo., and Denver before Salt Lake City and was forced to work as a prostitute at each stop, police wrote. The man was traveling with a female who may be his girlfriend. According to jail documents, she stood guard over the victim and handled advertising and other correspondence to set up acts of prostitution.
The man had repeatedly beaten the victim, police said.
On Monday morning, Salt Lake City police Detective Robin Heiden said investigators had a man in custody and were questioning him in the case.
By Monday night the man, 26, had been booked into jail on suspicion of human trafficking, kidnapping, aggravated assault and rape. The woman was booked on suspicion of human trafficking.
The victim was taken to the hospital, where she remained Monday under observation.
Police said they had worked the case with the FBI due to its interstate nature.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.