MACOMB TOWNSHIP, MI — A Michigan couple has been busted after allegedly holding a special-needs woman captive in a shed and pimping her out for sex, police say.
Misty George, 30, and Michael Welch, 38, allegedly allowed the 29-year-old victim to stay at their mobile home in Macomb Township, a suburb of Detroit. But when the victim could no longer pay rent, police say the couple forced her to reside in an empty shed located near the home, and refused to let her shower or use the bathroom.
George and Welch then set up online ads that advertised the victim’s sexual services, according to the sheriff’s office. Several men responded to the ads and paid money to the couple in exchange for sex from the victim.
George and Welch were each hit with a string of charges including human trafficking and accepting prostitution earnings, according to authorities. George also was charged with using a computer to commit a crime, the sheriff’s office said. On Welch’s part, he tried to escape as he was being put into a police vehicle, and after leading a short foot chase, was again apprehended. But that added more charge to what he’s facing.
After several weeks of enslavement, the victim finally was able to leave the mobile home park and told family members what had happened. The family called police on September 12.
Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said:
“Instead of helping this profoundly special-needs person, George and Welch took her support money, forced her to live rough in an outside shed, and sold her as a prostitute. As your heart breaks for this vulnerable woman, your conscience is shocked by the abusive cruelty one human being is capable of showing to another.”
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham told the Detroit Free Press that human trafficking can happen anywhere, with women and children — particularly those in abusive or poverty situations — often the most vulnerable.
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Main photo: Michael Welch and Misty George [Macomb County Sheriff’s Office]