MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Two people were arrested in Michigan after a 29-year-old woman who officials described as a "profoundly special-needs person" was forced to live in a shed while they advertised her sexual services to other men online, police said.
Misty George, 30, and Michael Welch, 38, a dating couple from Macomb Township, are accused of kicking the woman out of their home near 21 Mile and Heydenrich roads because she couldn't afford rent.
After they kicked her out of the home, police said they didn't allow her to go inside to use the restroom or shower. She was forced to live in a shed.
Officials said the woman has "both mental and physical disabilities."
George and Welch are accused of setting up dating advertisements for the woman through an online website. Several men responded to the advertisements, and the couple accepted money from the men in exchange for sexual services from the victim.
When the woman left the mobile home park, her family discovered what had happened to her and called police.
"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," Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said. "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."
George is charged with human trafficking-forced labor, using a computer to commit a crime and prostitution-accepting earnings. She is being held on $75,000 bail.
Welch is charged with human trafficking-forced labor and prostitution-accepting earnings. He is being held on $50,000 bail.
"The Sheriff and the Prosecutor’s Office are resolved to bring some measure of justice to this young woman, and to get her the support and treatment she needs," Smith said.
The couple is scheduled to return to court Oct. 24.
After the arraignment, Welch tried to escape from the sheriff's transport vehicle. He was captured after a brief foot chase and returned to the Macomb County Jail, where he will receive new charges for the attempted escape, police said.