Two Macomb residents charged with human trafficking a disabled woman
The Macomb County Sheriff's Office charged two county residents Tuesday with trafficking a disabled woman.
The Sheriff's Office received an anonymous tip on Sept. 12 about an incident at the Westbridge Manor mobile home park near 21 Mile Road and Heydenreich.
Misty George, 30, and Michael Welch, 38, were arraigned in 41-A District Court in Shelby Township. The Macomb Area Computer Enforcement unit investigated the case.
The Sheriff's Office said in a release that a 29-year-old female with mental and physical disabilities was being housed in a vacant shed near the suspects’ home.
"The victim was originally allowed to stay within the home and was eventually moved to the shed after she could not afford to pay the rent that the suspects demanded," the release said. "The victim was not allowed in the home to use the restroom or shower."
The Sheriff's Office said the suspects advertised the victim through online websites. Several men responded, paying money for sexual services.
"Once the victim left the mobile home park, family discovered what had occurred and contacted police," the release said.
George was arraigned on three counts of human trafficking felony-forced labor; a computer felony-using to commit a crime; and a felony for prostitution or accepting earnings.
Welch was arraigned on two counts of human trafficking felony-forced labor and a felony for prostitution or accepting earnings. After being arraigned, Welch attempted to escape as he entered the sheriff’s vehicle. After a brief foot chase, he was captured. He was returned to the Macomb County Jail, where he awaits new charges for the attempted escape, the Sheriff's Office said.
“Instead of helping this profoundly special-needs person, George and Welch took her support money, forced her to live rough in an outside shed, and sold her as a prostitute,” Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said in the release.
George and Welch are believed to be dating and reside together. Bond for George was set at $75,000. Bond for Welch was set at $50,000.
Both are due back in court on Oct. 24.