- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - Federal authorities say four people have been indicted for operating a sex trafficking ring that involved offering young girls for sex.

Twenty-four-year-old Emanuel Dandre Wade and 25-year-old Charmaine Henderson made initial court appearances Wednesday in Houston. They are facing charges that include sex trafficking of minors.

Also facing charges are 21-year-old Ashley Shawntal Williams and 26-year-old Darquesha Perry.

Prosecutors say the young girls were forced to work as prostitutes for Wade and in some instances were beaten when they didn’t follow orders. Williams and Perry allegedly transported the girls to meet with men seeking sex.

Each of the four defendants also faces a charge of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, which is punishable by up to life in prison.

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