A couple from Detroit has been charged with human trafficking after allegedly keeping a woman with special needs in a shed and charging money for men to have sex with her, according to multiple reports.
On Saturday, the couple from Macomb Township — Misty George, 30, and her 38-year-old boyfriend Michael Welsh, 38 — appeared before a judge on human trafficking charges, reported the Detroit Free Press. Welsh was also charged with using a computer to commit a crime, according to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.
The couple have been accused of forcing a 29-year-old mentally and physically disabled woman to live in their shed without letting her use their bathroom or shower, cops told WXYZ Detroit,
While the Detroit Free Press reported that the woman was initially allowed to stay inside the couple’s home, she was allegedly moved to the shed after she stopped being able to pay rent.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Welsh then allegedly placed several ads online seeking men who would pay to have sex with the victim, according to WXYZ. According to the local news station, the woman was eventually able to leave the shed, at which point she went home to tell her family what had happened and the authorities were notified on Sept. 12.
“This whole incident spanned over a couple-month period,” Macomb County Sheriff Office Sgt. Renee Yax told the Detroit Free Press.
• PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: 35 Real Cases That Inspired the Show Law & Order is on sale now.
“Instead of helping this profoundly special-needs person, George and Welch took her support money, forced her to live rough in an outside shed, and sold her as a prostitute,” Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said according to Macomb Daily.
“As your heart breaks for this vulnerable woman, your conscience is shocked by the abusive cruelty one human being is capable of showing to another. The Sheriff and the Prosecutor’s Office are resolved to bring some measure of justice to this young woman, and to get her the support and treatment she needs,” Smith continued in a statement posted on Facebook.
Welsh is also expected to face more charges, reported Fox 2 Detroit. After his arraignment he tried to escape on foot, but was quickly captured and returned to Macomb County Jail.
Welsh is being held on a $75,000 bound while George is being held on a $50000 bond, according to WXYZ. They are due back in court on Oct. 24.