Alleged sex slavery ring operators headed to court

Monday, November 2, 2009 at 11:45pm
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Charles and Timothy Lee

The Arizona father and son duo accused of running a sex slavery ring in Middle Tennessee has been indicted by a Davidson County grand jury.

Charles Dawayne Lee, 24, and Timothy Dawayne Lee, 43, are scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, where they'll face eight charges stemming from a June 10 arrest, including conspiracy to commit trafficking for sexual servitude, promoting prostitution and possession of a controlled substance.

Metro Police were tipped off this summer by detectives in Colorado that Charles Lee was possibly running a prostitution ring in Tennessee, according to an affidavit filed at the time of the arrest. That suspicion was allegedly verified when officers were summoned to the Red Roof Inn on Sidco Drive on June 11 after a 20-year-old woman traveling with the Lees asked the management to call the police.

When the police arrived, the woman told officers she had met Charles Lee at the Eighth Avenue Greyhound Station. He had persuaded her to come to the Red Roof Inn, according to police, by asking her if she was interested in making money by giving massages. The 20-year-old joined three other young women from out of state at the hotel and was told she was going to be a part of a sexual escort business.

Officers confronted the Lees and three other women — two age 22 and 18 — as they were getting out of a van in the hotel parking lot. One of the women told police she had been forced into prostitution and was kept from leaving the group. The Lees allegedly had advertised the women on the erotic services sections of www.craiglist.com and www.backpage.com.

Before being arrested, police say Charles Lee destroyed a cell phone they believe was part of the prostitution ring. He is also charged with evidence tampering.

The Lees have been held on $100,000 bonds each since their arrest.