- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 29, 2003

DETROIT, Jan. 29 (UPI) — U.S. District Judge Willie Lipscomb ordered a Chicago man to stand trial on charges of running a multi-state prostitution ring that preyed on young girls forcing them into the life of a sex slave.

Lipscomb called Henry Charles Davis Jr. "a coldblooded predator" and refused a request to lower his $2 million bail Tuesday after hearing testimony from a 17-year-old Cleveland girl who was forced into a vehicle at a bus stop on Jan. 9.

"No young female in this city is safe if he's allowed to walk the streets," Lipscomb said. "If what I hear is true, he preyed mercilessly on young defenseless women and did so out of sheer greed."

The 17-year-old girl said she was taken to Chicago and Detroit, raped twice and told she would be severely beaten if she disobeyed Davis' orders. She was forced to dance at after-hours strip clubs in both cities and engage in prostitution.

The girl ran to a store security guard at a shopping mall in Highland Park, Mich., Jan. 13 and begged for help. Police later raided a house where she had been held prisoner and arrested Davis and a 17-year-old youth.

Davis was charged with kidnapping, transporting a female for prostitution and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual contact. He faces similar charges in a case involving a 20-year-old woman who testified she was lured into the sex trade in November by the prospect of earning up to $500 a day selling jewelry.

Davis could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

His lawyer, David Perlman, told the Detroit News the Cleveland teen was not held captive.

A preliminary hearing for 17-year-old Jamal Derek Rivers, who was arrested with Davis, was delayed until Friday. Rivers is charged with rape and operating a prostitution ring. Prosecutors said the sex slave ring was centered in Chicago and had operated for at least seven years involving as many as 30 women and girls as young as 13.

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