Three people have been charged as authorities investigate a possible human trafficking case in Mid-Michigan.
Michigan State Police Lt. Dave Kaiser said troopers and the Flint Police Department were called Saturday, May 12 about reports of a possible human trafficking case.
The Flint Police Department said they responded about 3:41 p.m. to Teaser's in the 2500 block of S. Grand Traverse Street for reports of a criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping investigation.
Officers spoke with the caller, a female victim, and then found the location of the alleged incident was in the 600 block of Freeman Avenue. A K-9 unit was also brought to the area to investigate, according to Kaiser.
Law enforcement officials said the victim was just looking for somewhere to live when she was kidnapped and forced to do things against her will.
"Our victim was separated from her husband and looking for a place to stay," Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said.
Leyton said the 34-year-old ended up staying at the wrong house with the wrong people and it led to her being violently abused. He said when the woman was rescued on May 12 she was in rough shape.
"She had two black eyes when the police rescued her," Leyton said.
Three people have been charged in connection to the case.
Darius Thames, Emily Draheim and Trey Stewart lived at the home with the victim. Police said the violent reign began when the victim and Draheim had some kind of altercation. That's when police say the suspects began to torture the victim.
"At some point, Thames tortured her. Stripping her and duck taping her to the floor," Leyton said.
Leyton said after being beaten and held at gunpoint, the woman was forced into the sex trade by Thames, Draheim and Stewart.
The woman was able to escape on May 12, seeking help at the Teaser's club.
"It was scary. I just felt like I couldn't even think straight," said a woman who works at Teaser's.
She didn't want to be identified, but she said she helped a woman who came running into the club on Saturday.
She said the woman told her she had been sexually assaulted and held against her will at a home on Freeman Avenue for a month.
"She said that she had been bound, had guns held to her head, assaulted," the woman said.
Club workers called 911.
All three defendants were brought up on dozens of charges on May 15.
"There's a count for kidnapping. There's a count for torture. There's a count for human trafficking," Leyton said.
Stewart was charged with two counts of kidnapping, one count of torture, four counts of human trafficking, four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, carrying a firearm while committing a felony and possession of ammunition by a felon.
Draheim was charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of torture, four counts of human trafficking, four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, carrying a firearm while committing a felony and possession of ammunition.
Thames was charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of torture, four counts of human trafficking, three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, felonious assault, two counts of carrying a firearm while committing a felony and possession of ammunition by a felon.
Though the victim has been through quite the ordeal, Leyton said she is expected to be OK.
"A lot of times these victims had had problems leading up to these kinds of incidences. But our job in law enforcement now is to make sure that she gets the help and the advocacy and services she needs for recovery," Leyton said.
A woman who lives across the street from the home on Freeman Avenue doesn't think there's any type of human trafficking happening in the house.
She didn't want to be identified, but she said the victim came to her house Saturday morning asking if she could take a shower because the water was off across the street. She said they even went on several errands together and the woman never said a word about being held hostage.
She said her grandson goes to that house and plays video games.
However, human trafficking is a problem in Genesee County, according to a human trafficking task force spokesperson.
"If you're listening right now, have your eyes and ears open. So that you know right here in Genesee County human trafficking happens," said Janeen Reigle, human trafficking task force spokesperson.
If you suspect human trafficking you can call 1-888-3737-888.
This case remains under investigation and Flint Det. Tyrone Booth said another person may face charges.
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