Two 16-year-olds were rescued from sex trafficking during a prostitution sting by the Lexington Police Department, the agency announced on Thursday.
The sting went down on Nov. 21, when undercover officers posing as prostitute-seeking men answered the ads for women on backpage.com and craigslist.com. Around 8 p.m., a girl later identified as a 16-year-old victim met an undercover officer at a hotel.
Investigators learned she had been coerced into prostitution by a man and a woman later identified as India Tykeyeh Cuyler, 23, and Donnell Salethian Woodard, 29, according to a Lexington Police news release. Both were arrested in the parking lot of the hotel, where they had been waiting on the girl.
The teenager was taken into emergency protective custody after receiving medical treatment. She also told investigators that another 16-year-old was being used for prostitution. The West Columbia Police Department found the second teenager and took her into custody, the release stated.
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The investigation is continuing as officers from both agencies work to determine if there are any additional potential victims.
Both Cuyler and Woodard are facing charges of sex trafficking of a minor. Cuyler is also facing charges of driving under suspension. Also, Woodard was charged with simple possession of marijuana, and was wanted by the S.C. Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole on probation violation.
Anyone with information related to this case or any other sex trafficking of underage girls is asked to call 888-CRIME-SC.
Cynthia Roldán: @CynthiaRoldan