An Appleton man is being held on a $50,000 cash bond on charges of human trafficking after appearing in court yesterday.
Tha Moua, 29, helped two men from Minneapolis make contact with two women from the Appleton area in November 2015, when he invited them to use drugs at his home, according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint said the men eventually took the women, willingly, to an Appleton hotel, where one was sexually assaulted and told she would be taken to Minneapolis to live in a house with 24/7 male supervision. In the criminal complaint, it says the victim said the men told her she would "not be her own person anymore," and be told "what to eat, what to wear, and how to do her hair" in exchange for "a never ending supply of drugs."
"[Moua's] role was to try to provide a female or females to these other individuals," said Sgt. David Lund of the Appleton Police Department.
The two woman escaped from the men that night by running to a neighboring hotel, where the police were called, the criminal complaint said. The investigation is ongoing in this incident, according to Appleton Police.
The police did not arrest Moua at the time, but after he was taken into police custody on Monday for a different case, the Appleton PD arrested him for the November incident, Lund said. These kinds of human trafficking situations are not uncommon in the Fox Valley, according to both police and local anti-human trafficking advocates.
"Just for the fact that human trafficking is happening in our area creates the risk factors for our children," said Nicole Tynan, an anti-human trafficking advocate in the Fox Valley.
"As it continues to happen, more demand will happen and there will be an increase for supply."
Tynan is heading up the prevention and public awareness committee on the new statewide human trafficking task force that begins in March.