A high school senior in the suburbs of Minneapolis is facing criminal charges after she allegedly pimped out a sophomore at a Craigslist-esque website called Backpage.com.
Both students are female and both are members of the cheerleading squad at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, reports KSTP, the ABC affiliate for the Twin Cities.
Charges in the criminal complaint filed against Montia Marie Parker, 18, include promotion of prostitution and sex trafficking in the second degree.
The unnamed 16-year-old student told police that she became a working girl after a March conversation among friends and other cheerleaders. The topic was ways to earn extra cash. An unnamed person suggested providing oral sex to men as a potential solution. The sophomore didn’t take the idea seriously. Nevertheless, it was apparently discussed in some detail.
At some later time, Parker contacted the girl — first on Facebook and then by text. The girl told Parker that she actually would be interested in making money via the world’s oldest profession. Parker then asked for some photos. “Not too nasty but kinda cute,” the senior instructed, according to KSTP. Parker also wanted the girl to “show a little skin” and show off “different outfits.”
Using the photos, Parker then designed an advertisement for the girl’s services and placed it on Backpage.com.
The website contains a notorious adult services section that CNN has described as a den of coerced sex-trafficking.
On the afternoon of March 5, Parker drove the sophomore — along with two other females — to an apartment building. At some point, Parker told the girl, “You’re up!” The girl proceeded to provide oral sex to an unidentified man for $60 in cash.
A similar series of events transpired on at least one more occasion and the 16-year-old said she drew the line when asked to have sexual intercourse.
The 16-year-old girl left school early for the skin-trade outings. Also, in true pimp style, Parker allegedly took all the cash for herself.
The sophomore’s mother eventually found out about her daughter’s unexcused absence on March 5. She examined the girl’s cellphone and saw the texts concerning prostitution. That’s when she called police.
On April 4, reports KSTP, Hopkins admitted to her role as a sex trafficker. She faces 15 to 20 years in jail and a hefty fine.
Hopkins Public Schools released a statement promising that it has followed its own policy in response to the criminal complaint, “which includes permanently removing a student from campus.” The removed student is not named.
This story is at least the third school-related prostitution tale this academic year.
Just this month, Travis Lekas, a student at Nimitz High School in the Dallas area, was accused of forcing an unnamed 15-year-old female classmate into prostitution. Lekas, 17, allegedly kept the girl at his residence for three days, plying her with a cocktail of alcohol, pot, and prescription pills. (RELATED: High school pimp allegedly forced 15-year-old into sex trade)
Police said that Lekas may have also attempted to sign up other underage girls at nearby Bowie Middle School to his nascent pimping enterprise.
In February, a jury in Riverside, California found Moreno Valley school board member Mike Rios, 42, guilty on almost two dozen felony counts stemming from a prostitution operation. The litany of charges against the Democrat included rape, pimping, pandering and insurance fraud. Two of the prostitutes involved were underage girls. (RELATED: Southern California school board member convicted of running sex ring)
“He said he needed to raise money because he wanted to be something bigger in the district,” a woman named Valery testified at Rios’s trial.