Man Could Face Up To 40 Years In Prison
The alleged leader of a sex ring involving teens in Detroit and other cities decided to plead guilty to charges just days before his trial was set to begin, Local 4 reported.
Henry Davis, 32, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct in a Wayne County courtroom on Thursday. Davis (pictured, left) had maintained his innocence all along against the allegations that he was luring in teenage girls to work as prostitutes, but decided to plead guilty before his trial date scheduled for next week.
In a previous interview with NBC’s “Dateline,” Davis said he cried about being falsely accused. But on Thursday, he admitted to kidnapping girls from Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit and forcing them to sell jewelry by day and their bodies by night, Local 4 reported.
Davis and Jamal Rivers, 17, of Detroit, were charged with kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct. They also reportedly face federal charges for transporting kidnapped girls across state lines.
Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Duggan said that Davis would lure girls into the ring with the promise of making money by selling jewelry. He said it operated much like a cult.
Dozens of girls said they were kidnapped and forced to have sex with strangers for money. Several girls were rescued in January when police raided a house in the 4600 block of Nottingham in Detroit.
Davis and Rivers were taken into custody at the Detroit home on Jan. 13, Local 4 reported.
The scheme was discovered when a 17-year-old girl begged a security guard at a Foot Locker store in Highland Park for help. Police said guard Dorian McConnell became suspicious when the two suspects walked into the store with three teenage girls — a 15-year-old from Royal Oak, a 16-year-old from Detroit and a 17-year-old from Cleveland.
McConnell held the girl and called Highland Park police, who then contacted Detroit police and they reportedly took over the case. Detroit police said that they executed a search warrant at the home on Nottingham Street.
Investigators believe the girls were among several being “transported between locations … being sexually assaulted, made to dance in after-hours clubs and to prostitute themselves,” said Cmdr. Gerard Simon of the Detroit Police Department.
The alleged ringleaders reportedly took the girls to the Foot Locker to buy clothes for them as part of a punishment and reward system, according to police.
Duggan said that the ring dates back to 1995. Other girls had reportedly come forward over the years, but police did not have enough information on the case.
The 17-year-old girl from Cleveland was in Detroit Jan. 28 to explain to the court how she was taken to Chicago and Detroit and raped. She said she had to have sex with Davis’ brother in Chicago and with Davis in Detroit.
Davis will be sentenced in September and could face between 18 and 40 years in prison. Two others accused of being involved in the sex ring are expected to plead guilty Friday.