ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) — A central Florida man and his two associates allegedly recruited women inmates and used them as prostitutes once they were released from prison.
Richard Rawles, 75, was charged with human trafficking for commercial sexual activity and deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution. His accomplices James King and Wilbert Shaver were arrested on the same charges.
Authorities said Rawles recruited female prisoners from the Ocala’s Lowell Correctional Institution State Prison for Women. Once they were released, Rawles allegedly took the women to Orlando and forced them to work as prostitutes.
The Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation said in a statement the three man team advertised the women on websites, and would drive them to the location or have the some of the men come to the home where they operated.
Police said the women were given cocaine, heroin and other drugs. The women weren’t allowed to leave the residence without an escort.
The victims told police they were threatened and beaten by Rawles and King.
Rawles told reporters outside the residence where he was arrested that he wasn’t a pimp.
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