15-year-old forced into ‘servitude’ escapes accused sex traffickers, Georgia cops say

A 15-year-old girl who was missing for months had been sex trafficked until she escaped and told her story to police, Georgia investigators said.

Now, four accused traffickers have been arrested, the Atlanta Police Department said during a news conference May 3.

A fifth is still on the run, police said.

Authorities they were called to a hospital Feb. 29 after receiving a report that a teen girl missing since December had been found but reported being trafficked, Tracy Lewis with the City of Atlanta Police Department said during the conference.

As the 15-year-old recounted her story, an investigator recalled a similar narrative from another trafficking survivor, and they learned their cases were related, Lewis said.

Police learned the 15-year-old and three other girls ages 14 to 16 had been forced into “sexual servitude,” Lewis said.

They were taken to truck stops, gas stations and other locations to perform sex acts, according to Lewis.

The 15-year-old called her mother Feb. 29 and told her she was being held captive and was going to escape, according to a 911 call obtained by McClatchy News. At this point, she had been missing for three months, her mother told the operator.

The teen was able to flee and sought “refuge” with someone nearby, who called the police, Lewis said.

The teen was able to provide investigators detailed information that allowed them to bring the men into custody, according to police.

“She was very, very knowledgeable about what was going on,” Lewis said. “She was excellent. She remembered tag numbers and stuff like that. And it’s because she watches crime shows, … so she kind of tried to remember things.”

The four men charged are 24-year-old Albert Wells, 47-year-old Taalib Blount, 22-year-old Levi Sears and 48-year-old Talmes Eugene Smith. They face an array of charges each, including rape, trafficking a person for sexual servitude, false imprisonment, pimping a person under 18 and interference with custody.

McClatchy News reached out to the attorney representing Wells and Smith on May 6 and did not receive an immediate response. Attorney information for Blount and Sears was not available in court records.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.

To report potential trafficking situations, you can contact the national hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or chat with the online hotline.

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