Man arrested in Tampa faces Polk human trafficking charge
Montavius Postell is taken into custody by Tampa police Tuesday night. POLK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Published: July 10, 2013
Updated: July 10, 2013 at 03:00 PM
A 15-year-old girl was beaten, "branded" with a tattoo and used as a prostitute and "sex slave" by two Orlando men who face human trafficking charges in Polk County, authorities said.
One of the men, a 22-year-old gang member, was arrested at a Tampa hotel Tuesday night. Montavius Rakeem Postell, aka "King," was identified as the girl's pimp by Polk deputies.
His arrest came two months after the other man, 48-year-old Michael Kempfer, brought the teenage runaway to an undercover location during a Polk sting targeting online prostitution and solicitation.
Kempfer has been in jail since his arrest in May, accused of driving with suspended license and deriving proceeds from prostitution, the sheriff's office said. A human trafficking charge has now been added.
Postell was taken into custody by Tampa police about 8:30 p.m. in a hotel on the 3800 block of East Fowler Avenue, according to authorities. He was sought on a warrant charging him with human trafficking, two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim age 12 to 16, and promoting sexual activity of a victim younger than 16.
The investigation began May 8, while Polk detectives were conducting the four-day prostitution investigation that resulted in 92 arrests. During that string, the 15-year-old was arrested on a prostitution charge after Kempfer drove her to the undercover location, deputies said. At the time, Kempfer told detectives he was not involved in "pimping her out."
Detectives said they later established a rapport with the teen and identified her as a victim of lewd battery and human trafficking.
Polk deputies working with gang detectives from the Orange County Sheriff's Office, identified her "pimp" Postell, who lived at the same Orlando address as Kempfer, authorities said.
According to an affidavit, Postell was arrested in March in Orange County on a charge of selling cocaine. During his 12 hours in jail, he made 25 telephone calls, most of them to the 15-year-old to discuss her ability to raise his bond by prostituting herself, the affidavit said.
"He used threat of physical violence, actual physical violence, and drugs to control the victim and coerce her to prostitute herself and turn the money over to him," the Polk sheriff's office said in a news release.
On Tuesday, Polk and Orange detectives served a search warrant at Postell and Kempfer's house, but Postell was not there. Detectives said they found crack cocaine, two loaded handguns in plain sight, several photos of the 15-year-old with Postell, and gang paraphernalia.
Postell was located in Tampa later in the day and arrested.
"Here is but one example of how prostitution is not a 'victimless crime,' and even worse, this is an example of a how a juvenile was being used as a sex slave," Sheriff's Grady Judd said in the news release. "This young girl was given drugs, physically beaten and sexually abused, and - because she was too young to even drive - she was driven around and prostituted out by these two despicable men."
The 15-year-old is in safe custody and receiving treatment, the sheriff's office said.