LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Las Vegas police have arrested a pair of suspects after a woman reported that she had been kidnapped and forced into sex work.
According to an arrest report from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, officers from the Summerlin Area Command responded to the 9100 block of Grand Mountain Circle on January 29 after the victim said she had been kidnapped and had her passport and other personal documents taken from her by two people.
Upon arrival, police learned that the victim only spoke Spanish. She identified her captors as Alfredo Mendez Barban and Leydis Almira Badia, who were present inside the residence that the victim called from.
The victim told police that she arrived in the U.S. on December 13, 2023, and was forced into committing acts of prostitution by the suspects. The LVMPD Vice Section was called in to assist on the case due to the sex trafficking of an adult.
According to a police report, the victim was tricked into coming to the U.S. to pursue a better-paying job and she was supposed to pay the suspects $50,000 for arranging her transport. Upon arrival, she learned that she would be forced to engage in acts of prostitution to repay her debt. She was also reportedly stripped of her passport and immigration documentation by Mendez Barban and Almira Badia to prevent her from leaving the country.
The victim provided detectives with several photos taken by the suspects that she said were posted on prostitution websites. She said she believed that she paid the suspects more than $50,000 from prostitution earnings of $1,500 to $2,500 a day but was still not allowed to leave. She added that she was taken to San Francisco, Denver, and Utah to commit acts of prostitution, in addition to the ones she committed in Las Vegas.
Mendez Barban and Almira Badia allegedly often communicated on her behalf because she didn’t speak English. The victim was paid in either cash or online transfers, with all money given directly to the suspects.
The suspects told police that they knew the victim, but denied any involvement or knowledge of prostitution activity. Police executed a search warrant at the residence, which turned up a handgun, multiple iPhones and the victim’s passport.
A reverse search of the image provided by the victim led investigators to find prostitution advertisements bearing phone numbers connected to the suspects. Records checks revealed that Mendez Barban had prior arrests for grand larceny and theft, while Almira Badia had several work cards for Las Vegas adult entertainment clubs.
The two suspects were booked into the Clark County Detention Center for sex trafficking of an adult and 2nd-degree kidnapping. They have an initial appearance scheduled in Clark County Justice Court on February 1.
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