A 15-year-old Boston girl who had gone missing was found working at a Providence strip club over the weekend. She was accompanied by a convicted sex offender who has previously served time for running a teen prostitution ring.
Troy Footman, 51, of Seekonk, is charged with sex trafficking, and is under investigation for recruiting teenage girls from Boston to work as exotic dancers and prostitutes, Providence Police Major David Lapatin told the Providence Journal.
According to police, the teen solicited undercover cops for sex when they entered the strip club Cheaters.
The girl had a Delaware state ID that showed her to be over 21, as well as an ID from Boston College, the ProJo reports. She showed both to the strip club management before her employment began, the club’s representative David C. Tapalian said. The club’s manager has color copies of both IDs.
“This is an unfortunate incident and we applaud the respective state and federal agencies in the arrest of the alleged perpetrator,” Tapalian said in an emailed statement. “At Cheaters they only hire girls 18 years or above and always check two forms of id.”
Another teen, from Brockton, was found in Footman's motel room.
Attorney General Martha Coakley, who co-sponsored the human trafficking bill, told the Boston Herald that whether the case lands in state or federal court will depend on whether the alleged trafficker crossed borders.
“You want to find the jurisdiction for the best punishment available for the crime, but until we get the facts for this case, we won’t know that,” Coakley, who is not currently involved in the case, told the Herald. “The most important thing right now is making sure the young women are safe. As we move forward and enforce our new statute, it gives us better tools for punishment. We can always work with the federal government to get the best outcome for the case and the victim.”
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