GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A teenager in Grand Rapids told police that a man was “pimping” her and threatened her if she didn’t bring him a certain amount of money every day, court records say.
The alleged abuses stopped this week when the alleged dealer, 38-year-old Terrence Donte Clay, was stopped by police on Mackinac Bridge and the 16-year-old was found hiding under a blanket in his vehicle.
Clay, of Comstock Park, was charged Wednesday, November 23, with human trafficking in a trial that took place during a months-long investigation.
Police first became aware of Clay on October 21 after receiving a sex trafficking complaint from the Kentwood Police Department, a Kent County Sheriff’s detective wrote in a probable cause statement obtained by MLive/The Grand Rapids Press.
Police were initially made aware of a missing 16-year-old girl from Grand Rapids who had run away from home and was a victim of human trafficking. Investigators located the alleged victim, who identified Clay as the person who “pushed her out,” the affidavit said.
The teenager told police she met Clay in a park in Grand Rapids. She told him she was 18 when they first met.
A few days later, the teenager saw Clay again in the same park. She told police that Clay provided her with food, clothing and a place to stay – in a hotel room – for several weeks.
CONNECTED WITH: Police have arrested a man accused of trafficking Grand Rapids teens online
The teen said Clay told her she had to make $200 a day and threatened her not to make the money. Clay gave her a cell phone to track her location, police wrote in an affidavit.
Police searched the victim’s phone and found text messages from Clay instructing the victim how much to charge others for sexual acts. An advertisement showing these amounts was placed on the Internet.
On November 12, police discovered that the victim had been taken from her home in Grand Rapids to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Police passed the information to authorities in northern Michigan. A member of the Mackinac Bridge Authority staff spotted Clay driving and a person hiding under a blanket in the back seat.
The vehicle was stopped after crossing the bridge, and Clay was arrested in Cheboygan County.
Clay is scheduled to appear in the 63rd District Court in Grand Rapids on December 7 for a probable cause conference. An initial examination is scheduled for December 14.
In addition to human trafficking, Clay is also charged with child sexual abuse, two counts of using a computer to commit a crime, and two counts of possessing child sexual abuse material.
As of Wednesday, November 23, Clay remains in Kent County Jail on $300,000 in cash or bail. If Clay posts bail, District Judge Sara Smolenski ordered him to have no contact with children under 18, including his own.
According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Clay was on parole at the time of the alleged felony for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm less than murder.
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