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Man Arrested in Alleged Prostitution Ring

January 16, 2003

DETROIT (AP) _ Police arrested a man they say ran a ring that kidnapped and attacked women and girls, some as young as 13, and forced them into prostitution in Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago.

Henry Charles Davis, 32, was arrested Monday and was expected to be arraigned Thursday on criminal sexual conduct and other charges, police said.

Davis and a 17-year-old Detroit boy were arrested after a Cleveland girl, also 17, led officers to a home in Detroit where authorities said at least three teenage girls had been held against their will.

Police say they later freed the Detroit teen because there was not enough evidence to charge him.

Police raided the home Monday after the girl told a store security guard in nearby Highland Park she had been kidnapped from a bus stop in Cleveland and forced to perform sex acts, Sgt. James Tolbert said. The guard then called police.

The department has been investigating the alleged sex ring since reports of kidnappings began surfacing six to seven months ago, Tolbert said. He said several other girls had reported being kidnapped, raped and forced into prostitution.

``I’ve never seen anything like it,″ sex crimes unit Officer Jose Ortiz told the Detroit Free Press. ``The majority of his captives were loyal to him. Some were hesitant at first, but then converted.″

The FBI is examining evidence in the case to see if there are grounds for federal charges as well, said Special Agent Dawn Clenney, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Detroit bureau.

Davis had been questioned by police at least twice over the years on allegations of rape _ in 1998 and 2000 _ but was released both times for lack of evidence, the Free Press reported.

In the latest case, the mother of the 17-year-old who led police to Davis relayed what her daughter told her about the experience. According to the mother, the girl remembered Davis saying: ``I’m your boss. You have no more say-so over your life. You’re no longer your own person. I’m your daddy.″

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