Man arrested in Memphis on sex slavery due in court this week - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man arrested in Memphis on sex slavery due in court this week

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LaRon Matlock faces a series of sex slavery charges. LaRon Matlock faces a series of sex slavery charges.
Details are surfacing in a sex slavery case that began on Facebook and ended in Arlington. Details are surfacing in a sex slavery case that began on Facebook and ended in Arlington.
Shelby County Sheriff's Spokesman Chip Washington speaking with Action News 5 about the case. Shelby County Sheriff's Spokesman Chip Washington speaking with Action News 5 about the case.
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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - New details are surfacing in a sex slavery case that began on Facebook and ended at an Arlington, Tennessee intersection.

LaRon Matlock faces a series of sex slavery charges, after investigators say he lured a 16-year-old white female and a 19-year-old black female to Memphis and repeatedly forced them to have sex with older men.

Shelby County Sheriff's Spokesman Chip Washington says the 19-year-old took the bus to Memphis the end of June and began a sexual relationship with Matlock.

"It does occur, perhaps, more than we realize here in town," said Washington.  "He posed as a record promoter looking for some talent," he added.

On July 15, the two were in for a rude awakening.

"She (the 19-year-old) had to go back home because she had a death in the family," Washington stated.  "When she returned, with tickets purchased by the suspect, she brought a 16-year-old friend with her.  He informed them that he was a pimp and he was going to utilize them for services," he explained.

Washington says Matlock imprisoned the teens in his South Memphis home, made them sell their bodies at Lamar and Sims, and placed them in ads on the ‘Backpage' website.

"When they did not want to perform services, he would beat them.  He also kept them awake for days using Ecstasy and Xanax," Washington said.

Deputies responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle in Arlington at Brown and Chester.  That's where they found the 16-year-old refusing to have sex with an older man for $100.

"We always urge folks if you see anything that looks suspicious, to give us a call," Washington stated.

The 16-year-old told deputies what happened and they took the three into custody Wednesday.

Facebook urges parents to join the network for more understanding, and ask your teens ‘Who are your friends on Facebook?' to enhance web safety.

To spot a victim look for:

  • Submissive behavior.
  • A person appearing under someone else's control.
  • If he/she lives with their employer.

"There's a saving grace that these ladies could have been more seriously harmed, but they weren't," Washington said.

It's unclear if the teens are back in Wisconsin.

Matlock is due in court Thursday.  He is currently at Shelby County Jail on a $250,000 bond and faces state and federal charges.

See these pages for further teen and family safety tips:

Facebook Family Safety Center: https://www.facebook.com/help/safety

Human Trafficking Red Flags: http://www.endslaverytn.org/get-involved/redflags/

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