Police say family paid high school student to work as sex slave

Monday, August 17, 2009 at 5:48pm
Staff reports
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Teresa West, Casey West and Diana West

Metro Police and FBI agents are investigating a family accused of employing a 16-year-old high school student to perform sex acts as part of their prostitution business.

Teresa Ann West, also known as Teresa West-Dagley, 45, is charged in state court with trafficking for sexual servitude and promoting prostitution, police said. She is also charged in federal court, along with her son Casey and daughter Diana, with using a minor for commercial sex.

Detectives say it likely that other teenagers are also involved.

Detectives said they began their investigation after receiving information this year that the Wests were using teenagers from a Middle Tennessee high school to work as prostitutes.

Police said Teresa West was observed checking into the Motel 6 in Murfreesboro on Monday, Aug. 3. She allegedly left a room key card on a wall in the parking lot and left the area.

A short time later, police said, a 16-year-old female drove to the motel, retrieved the key card and entered West’s motel room.

Metro detectives and FBI agents went to the room and interviewed the teenager, during which she acknowledged that she engaged in sex for money at the direction of Teresa Ann West, police said.

The teen told police she began working as a prostitute for West this summer and had engaged in approximately 20 to 30 sexual contacts.

Police say the teen told them a typical client paid $110, $40 of which went to Teresa West.

The teenager said that West knew she was 16, but told her to say that she was 18 if asked, according to police.

Casey West, 20, is alleged to have driven the teenager to a client and received a $20 fee from her, police said. The teen said she has given money to Casey West on other occasions as well. Diana West, 22, is alleged to have assisted in the operation of the prostitution business.

Investigators suspect that additional underage victims are related to this case.

Police are urging parents of teenagers, particularly in the Robertson County area, who are/were friends with Casey, Diana and/or Teresa West, to talk with their children and inquire whether they have any knowledge regarding the prostitution business.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact SID Detective Chad Holman at 782-3301. Police say underage persons involved in this matter are considered to be victims.