Redding police says a 16-year-old Sacramento girl reportedly kidnapped in March and forced to work as a prostitute in their city is back home safe and her alleged abductor/pimp is behind bars.
Sgt. Todd Cogle said the teen came to their attention April 17 when she asked passersby for help on a Redding street, telling them she had escaped from a nearby apartment where she had been held against her will.
Police investigated and found the girl had been reported as a runaway from Sacramento. Cogle said she told officers she had been walking home from a party when a man forced her into his vehicle and drove her to Redding. She identified the man as Melvin Derrell Baldwin-Green Jr., 25.
Cogle said the teen said she had been moved between two apartments in Redding. Baldwin-Green cut off her contact with anyone by taking her phone and locking the windows and interior doors of the apartments. He allegedly promised to buy her a bus ticket back to her family in Sacramento if she earned enough money from sex with men. She told investigators Baldwin-Green reneged on his word and also used her for sex with him.
Police executed an arrest warrant for Baldwin-Green and search warrants for one of the Redding apartments where the teen said she was kept and a Redding residence where the suspect lived. Baldwin-Green was arrested, Cogle said, after he was observed taking a woman to a pre-arranged address following an escort appointment made by investigators who called an Internet escort ad believe placed by the suspect.
Investigators reported finding evidence associated with prostitution and pimping during the searches at the apartment and residence.
Baldwin-Green has a prior conviction related to prostitution, Cogle said.
Baldwin-Green was booked into Shasta County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, human trafficking of a minor, promoting sexual conduct by a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, taking a minor for the purpose of prostitution, and child endangerment. His bail was set at $1 million.