Gainesville woman arrested, accused of trafficking 16-year-old girl
A 27-year-old Gainesville woman was arrested and charged with human trafficking Thursday after deputies say she forced a 16-year-old girl into prostitution.
Court records show Shawntorria Cortez Alford is charged with kidnapping a minor, engaging in human trafficking with a child under the age of 18, and forcing another person to become a prostitute.
An affidavit says deputies on Sept. 24th responded to the Scottish Inns Motel on SW 13th Street after the victim was discovered in a room with a 30-year-old man who paid $80 for a massage. The man told deputies he saw the victim hand the money to a person, who turned out to be Alford. Deputies say the the 16-year-old girl had escaped from a group home in St. Petersburg.
The victim told investigators she was in Gainesville for several weeks and needed money, shelter and food. A mutual friend introduced her to Alford, who offered her money, food and shelter by having sex with various people, the affidavit says.
The affidavit says they created an ad on a website and set up meetings with men on the victim's phone. The victim told deputies she had sex with about 12 men. The affidavit says Alford kept the money and took the victim's phone to keep her from contacting friends and family.
Deputies say the victim knew Alford only by the name "Tink" but was able to identify her in a photo lineup. Detectives say they also found photos of the victim in Alford's phone.
Alford is being held at the Alachua County Jail on $2.2 million bond.