Man, woman charged for prostitution, sex trafficking operation in Michigan home, officials say

Robert Grigsby, Vanessa Phillips plead guilty to charge

Robert Grigsby (left) and Vanessa Anne Phillips (right) (Allegan County Jail via WOOD-TV)

WAYLAND, Mich. – A man and a woman have been charged in connection with a prostitution and sex trafficking operation conducted out of a Michigan home, officials said.

Wayland police began to investigate a human trafficking operation involving Robert Grigsby, 52, of Wayland, and Vanessa Anne Phillips, 40, of Grand Rapids, in October 2018, according to authorities.

Officials uncovered evidence of commercial sexual activity, they said. Police said women were being transported for illegal activities, from which Grigsby and Phillips profited.

Grigsby and Phillips are accused of conducting the criminal enterprise at Grigsby’s home and other locations around the greater Grand Rapids area.

They both pleaded guilty to one count of human trafficking -- forced labor resulting in commercial sexual activity, authorities said.

Grigsby was sentenced Monday (March 7) to 57 months to 15 years in prison. Phillips is scheduled to be sentenced March 28.

“Our partnerships with local law enforcement agencies like the Wayland Police Department make it possible to pursue these predators wherever they are operating in Michigan,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “My office will continue to investigate and hold accountable anyone who tries to exploit vulnerable individuals for profit.”


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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.