SACO, Maine – Police arrested three people on charges of kidnapping after a woman reported being held against her will and forced to be a prostitute.
Police charged Lydia Ross Sholl, 26, of South Portland, Tiana Clark, 27, of Medford, Mass., and Wayne Hick of Scarborough with kidnapping. They are being held in the York County Jail on $100,000 bail.
Police are considering charging them with aggravated promotion of prostitution.
Saco police went to the Sunrise Motel on Portland Road at 4 a.m. Monday after receiving a call about a man and a woman fighting in one of the rooms.
Police say they found eight to 10 people in the room and called for backup from Old Orchard Beach police.
A 26-year-old woman told officers that she was being held against her will and forced into prostitution by people she had met while staying at a shelter in Portland, police said.
“It is our belief she went with them voluntarily initially and then she was prevented from leaving and assaulted,” Saco Police Chief Brad Paul said Tuesday.
“If the circumstances are as we believe them to be, people who are perhaps desperate and looking for a way out of the morass that they are in sometimes become vulnerable to people looking to take advantage of them,” Paul said. “That may be how this started out before this became a coerced operation.”
Police are still trying to determine how long the woman was held against her will, but it apparently was at least a couple of days, Paul said.
Police searched the motel room and a 2001 BMW sport utility vehicle, seizing records, cellular telephones, computers and cash. They also impounded the SUV.
Paul said there was evidence of drug use in the room, though no drug charges have been brought.
Police are investigating whether the people involved used online classified ads to solicit business. They say the prostitution was occurring in that motel room and the people who were there were involved in the operation.
The three people who were arrested refused to answer questions from police but did not resist arrest, Paul said.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.