A 34-year old mother in Norfolk Virginia was arrested after pimping out her 18-year old daughter into prostitution.
Melissa Bennet is now facing felony charges was after allegedly persuading and harassing her daughter to commit sexual acts with strange men and then demanded the money her daughter made from performing the sex acts.
Police officers began investigating the incident after the 18-year old daughter reported to police officers what her mother was doing.
The girl claims that after she turned 18, her mother persuaded, harass, and assist her in performing sexual acts in favor of money. Melissa at least had the decency to wait until the victim turned 18, however.
According to the warrant, incidents of sexual assault occurred several times throughout the city of Norfolk, Virginia.
Text messages between the Virginia Beach mother and daughter revealed that young woman was sold into prostitution because the family “needed money”.
The incidents occurred between late April and June 11. Melissa would occasionally driver her daughter at an old school building on Tidewater Dr. to meet the men, then after pimping her daughter out, she would then force her daughter to hand over the money she collected.
According to the affidavit, Melissa admitted that she encourage her daughter to do the sexual acts, and she would go along for the meeting to protect her daughter from the men she planned to meet.
While the 18-year old daughter is not facing any chargesin spite of the fact that she was 18-years-old at the time of the incidents, Melissa Bennet will be facing “pandering,” which according to Virginia law, is a charge related to human trafficking.
“Who wants to believe that that is happening? Who wants to believe that people are being used and abused in the community?” said Patrick McKenna the founder of the group Virginia Beach Justice Initiative – a group that works to end Human Sex Trafficking in Hampton Roads.
“People need to know that it is happening here locally,” McKenna added.
In 2014, Virginia ranked 5th for the number of calls coming into the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.