“We conducted an investigation that led us to the discovery of a juvenile which was engaged in adult sexual activity, specifically prostitution,” said Lt. Aldon Helmert.
Lt. Helmert says the investigation led them to arrest 23-year-old Allen Williams of Gautier, along with 19-year-old Stephanie French and 21-year-old Sean French of Biloxi. All three were allegedly either providing, transporting, or harboring a female juvenile to facilitate prostitution.
“We've been investigating this for some time. I mean we have information that this has been going on, so we know that there are potentially other suspects involved as well as patrons of this juvenile,” said Lt. Helmert.
According to Lt. Helmert, sex trafficking isn't a problem plaguing Biloxi, but it is something for everyone to look out for.
“What we're finding is that people are taking any opportunity that they can to make money. So we find that people engage in illegal activity for those purposes,” said Lt. Helmert.
Whether the victim was being held against her will or consenting to the sexual activity, Lt. Helmert says the investigation is ongoing due to the fact that there were adult patrons involved with a minor.
“Even if the victim is under the age of 18, they are considered a victim whether they're willingly participating or not, because under the state law they do not have the right to consent to commercial sexual activity,” said Lt. Helmert.
All three are being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center on bonds of $100,000 each.