CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - A runaway juvenile is back home after working as a prostitute in central Arkansas and one man has been arrested in the case for promoting prostitution. Investigators are working to see if there are others involved.
It all started with a tip Wednesday afternoon of an underage prostitute working in Conway. Several hours later, Faulkner County investigators arrested a Little Rock man after he was found with that underage girl.
Deputy Adam Bledsoe said they typically see more runaway juveniles during the summer months and holidays
"A runaway juvenile may think they’re being taken care of when in reality that adult may be setting them up to use them to make money," said Bledsoe.
Deputies arrested 34-year-old Cedric Mario Jackson of Little Rock after he arrived at a predetermined location in Conway with the underage runaway female who is from the Pulaski County area. He's been charged with promoting prostitution and drug and robbery related charges. He's being held on a one million dollar bond.
“We're still looking into maybe his past, if he’s been dabbling into other areas, if there are females he might be working with," said Bledsoe.
“It happens all the time, actually it happens more here in the state of Arkansas than people think it does," said Casonia Vinson, Clinical Program Director at PATH, Partners Against Trafficking Humans. “We get calls on a regular basis all day everyday 24/7 were getting calls from someone needing help."
She believes social media is partially to blame, with teens posting too much.
“Even other peers may be out recruiting these teenagers," said Vinson.
Vinson tells us that parents need to watch out for unusual behavior.
“If they’ve changed their friends, behaviors changing, things like that that are abnormal," said Vinson.
Investigators are still looking into this case so they can't release any more details yet.
Jackson is being held in a Faulkner County jail and is set to appear in court on August 28.
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