PINEVILLE, NC (WBTV) - A 35-year-old man is facing charges after he is accused of holding a woman captive in a Pineville hotel and trafficking her for sex.
According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, 35-year-old Thomas Stinnette is accused of picking up the woman in Georgia last week and holding her captive.
The investigation began when the woman's mother called Pineville Police Wednesday to say her daughter was being held against her will at the Comfort Suites. Officers were able to find the woman in a hotel room with Stinnette and got her out safely.
During an interview with FBI agents, the woman told investigators that her friend Charity picked her up in Georgia last Thursday and Stinnette was with her. She says he drove the girls to various cities in Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Miami, where they partied and went to bars.
When she woke up Sunday morning, Charity was gone. She tried to reach Charity but did not get a response to any calls or text messages.
The woman reportedly told Stinnette she wanted to go home, but didn't have any money or a car. He told her that he wanted to go to Jacksonville because "she had a pretty face and he could make her rich," according to the complaint. He reportedly told her he knew a woman who could do a photoshoot with her.
That's when the woman says she fell asleep in the car and woke up in Charlotte.
According to the complaint, Stinnette gave her prepaid cards to pay for a room at the Comfort Suites and said she was going to make money prostituting.
That's when she said Stinnette posted prostitution ads on Backpage.com for her and bought her a phone to call and text potential clients. When the clients arrived at the hotel, he would reportedly would leave the room and wait outside in his car until the dates were over.
The woman said she was told to put the money from the dates in a drawer and he would then collect all the money.
Monday, the woman was able to contact her mother on a cell phone Stinnette did not know she owned. According to the complaint, she told her mother where she was and that she wanted to go home, but her mom and sisters did not have the money to get her until Wednesday.
The woman told investigators she did not leave the hotel room from Monday until Wednesday afternoon, when she went to a nearby mall after Stinnette gave her money to buy items at Victoria's Secret.
Stinnette reportedly told investigators that he brought the woman from Florida to Charlotte and knew that she was going to be prostituting. He said he bought food for her, provided condoms for her and got her a hotel room.
He reportedly told investigators that he gave her money on top of the money from prostituting to make her car payment. He said he was there to make sure that she was safe.
Stinnette was arrested and is being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail on a federal hold.