Police say a 24-year-old man convinced a 15-year-old girl to enter prostitution after she admitted to running away from a local group home, according to court testimony.
Demetrice Perry faced sexual exploitation of a child, enticing child indecency, child molestation, statutory rape and simple battery charges during a Wednesday morning Recorder's Court hearing.
Police uncovered the alleged prostitution scheme Tuesday after responding to a domestic violence call at an apartment complex near Talbotton Road, an officer told the court.
According to court testimony, Perry punched his girlfriend after she threw toilet paper at him during a heated argument over whether the 15-year-old girl should be allowed to stay in the house. When his girlfriend attempted to stop Perry from leaving with the teen, he allegedly struck his girlfriend across the face with a belt, leaving abrasions along her eye.
The girlfriend later told police the teen moved in with them days earlier after Perry found her outside their apartment. The victim told Perry she ran away from a juvenile group home and was looking for a way to Atlanta.
Police say Perry agreed to let her stay in his home in exchange for selling sexual favors. The teen told officers she was ordered to give Perry part of the money she earned during these incidents, some of which took place at a nearby abandoned building.
According to testimony, Perry set the teen up with 18 to 20 men less than 24 hours after moving in. She also accused Perry of having sex with her multiple times during her stay.
The victim stated she never misrepresented her age during these incidents, an officer told the court.
After questioning, the Division of Family and Children Services took the teen into custody. Officials are still determining whether she will remain in the area or be returned to family in Atlanta.
Judge Michael Joyner set a $200,000 bond on Perry's charges during the hearing. His case will be forwarded to the Muscogee County Superior Court.