A Florida woman ensnared in a prostitution sting told detectives with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office that she had been forced to sell herself by a man and woman who held her month-old son hostage, authorities said.
Vice detectives met the unidentified woman after setting up an undercover date with her on Monday at a hotel in the block of Hearst Street in Metairie, the report said. When they advised her of her rights after revealing the sting, the woman confessed that she was being strong-armed into prostitution by Mercer and Ellison.
The woman told detectives she met them on Craigslist where she had been looking for work.
The pair recruited her for a job that turned out to be prostitution, the report said. Mercer and Ellison drove the woman to Louisiana and set her up in various hotel rooms for dates, collecting any and all money made.
Mercer and Ellison would take the woman's infant son with them while she was on prostitution dates. They would only return the baby once she turned over the cash she earned.
The pair told her that if she called the police or stopped prostituting for them, they would "get rid of the baby" or drop off the child in some hidden location, the report said. The woman, who was afraid for her life and the life of her baby, continued to prostitute for Mercer and Ellison, the report said. It does not appear that the woman was arrested or booked in the case, according to jail records.
No other information was available about her or the condition of her son. Edit Close.
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