Sheriff Lott: "They Prey On These Girls"

10:25 PM, Jul 30, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The man and woman who were arrested and charged for child sex trafficking here in Columbia appeared before a federal judge Tuesday.

Richland Sheriff Leon Lott says for years Two Notch Road was known for having prostitutes but now the problem is county wide and with technology he says they aren't on the roads; it's the internet and hotel rooms.

"It's more of the call girl service. So they have taken them off the street and they are kind of isolated almost out of the public's view, which is why people don't see them and talk about it as much as they use to," said Lott.

Investigators say 21-year old William Gibson and 20-year old Andrea Bostic were a part of a nationwide attack on underage prostitution. Deputies say using the internet, they offered the 16-year old girl for sex.

A Richland undercover deputy met the girl in a local Quality Inn who used the name "Tasha" resulting in her rescue and Gibson and Bostic in jail.

Sheriff Lott says the internet has totally changed the face of prostitution nationwide.

"It's the same result just different methods instead of standing on the road and flagging them down now they are on a computer, now they are showing it on Facebook and the different lists that are out there."

He says runaway are becoming a significant demographic in the types of underage girls that are prostitutes.

"They prey on these girls who don't have anything and they enslave them. That's what we see and that's what the FBI focus was to go catch these guys and free these girls who are run-aways."

Lott believes that cracking down on prostitution is important but often times it takes a backseat to high priority crimes like murders.

"Prostitution is in there but it has to be on the bottom of the list because it is two consulting adults who are involved in it but again we are not going to ignore it so periodically our guys go out here and we make cases we arrest the johns and we go after the pimps and the prostitutes so we go after all of them."

The two suspects will appear in court again Friday for a bond hearing.


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