LITTLE ROCK – A Little Rock woman was tried in federal court Wednesday on charges of kidnapping, sex trafficking, extortion and transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activities involving three women under the guise of a girls’ road trip to Memphis beaten and threatened, and numerous attempts have been made to force her into prostitution.
21-year-old Alexus Harris appeared before US Judge Joe Volpe, who briefed her on her rights and explained the possible punishment she could face, the heaviest of which could bring her to jail for life.
According to a 35-page criminal complaint filed by the FBI in federal court, the “MV1” victim told police that she went to Memphis with Harris and two other women on September 2 for a girls’ trip. After arriving at a Memphis hotel, MV1 told police that Harris had told her and the two women they were there to prostitute them and forced them to walk on the street for two consecutive days.
After she refused to prostitute, Harris and the others attempted to extort money from their family and friends, which prompted a family member to call the police.
During the time she was being held, MV1’s friends and family were exposed to phone and video calls from her abductors demanding money while they suffocated her with pillows, whipped her with a gun, or pointed guns at her head.
The complaint said that she was finally released when her abductors left her alone long enough to go down to the hotel parking lot, where she asked a man to take her to a West Memphis hotel. There, according to the complaint, the police were called and MV1 was taken to a hospital in Memphis, where family members picked her up on September 4th.
Harris’ first appearance on October 14 before US judge Beth Deere, Harris – who objected – was subjected to a psychiatric examination and placed in the care of the US Marshal Service.
On November 23, Deere signed an order to take Harris to the Carswell Federal Medical Facility in Fort Worth to see if she had legal standing. The report was forwarded to US District Judge Lee P. Rudofsky, who ordered the report to be adopted on March 15.