A Massachusetts man faces charges various criminal charges that include sex trafficking of a minor and sexual assault after police say he brought two teenage girls to Rhode Island and tried to force them into having sex.
The arrest is the result of a joint investigation that was led by the Rhode Island State Police in conjunction with the Brockton and Providence Police departments.
According to the Rhode Island State Police the investigation began on Friday evening when Brockton Police contacted them regarding a 15-year-old female who was reported missing from her Brockton home by her mother. The 15-year-old was believed to be in the company of a male who was later identified as Anthony Pledger, 26, of Dorchester.
Police say he told the alleged victims he would give them clothing and other compensation if they agreed to perform sex acts that he arranged, but they refused, so he would not bring them back to Massachusetts. The 15-year-old also told police she was sexually assaulted by Pledger.
Police investigators tracked the girl to an apartment located at 202 Jewett Street in Providence. She was found in the company of Pledger and a 16-year-old female from Malden, Massachusetts who had also been reported missing.
Pledger was arrested at the apartment. The owner of the apartment, Emma Schnorr, was also arrested on charges that included obstruction after initially denying the 15-year-old was inside the apartment.
Both Pledger and Schnorr are currently being held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institution until their arraignment Monday morning.
The two teens were released in the custody of their parents. The investigation is considered ongoing at this time as the police seek to identify any other potential victims.
The Associated Press also contributed to this report.
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