Lafayette police arrested a man from Illinois for alleged human trafficking Tuesday night after finding a girl sleeping in a car.
James Williams, 33, of Decatur, Illinois, was arrested on preliminary charges of human trafficking after a Lafayette police officer found a 17-year-old girl sleeping in a running white Kia Optima that was parked in a lot at 151 Frontage Road, near Interstate 65.
An officer was conducting community policing in the area when he noticed the car in the parking lot, LPD Lt. Matt Gard said. After finding the girl in the car and talking to her, it was determined she was "engaged in prostitution" and the man who trafficked her, whom she called "her pimp," was nearby.
Officers found Williams at a nearby motel on Frontage Road and arrested him.
When he was found, Williams admitted he knew the victim but denied being involved in prostitution, according to court records.
Williams set up meetings with what the victim described as "Johns" using an app on his phone for the men to have sex with the victim in exchange for money, according to a court order filed Wednesday. The victim told LPD that Williams took her to multiple meetings at many locations every week since March.
The girl, also from Illinois, has been handed over to the Department of Child Services, Gard said. DCS is working to reunite the girl with her family.
Williams is in the Tippecanoe County Jail today on no bond, according to jail records, and is scheduled to be in court Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors called Williams a dangerous flight risk and asked for $150,000 bond, or $15,000 cash.