Charles Wade, founder of the protest group Operation Help or Hush, was arrested on sex trafficking charges last month. He was caught in a prostitution sting, when the police responded to ads on backpage.com.
Operation Help or Hush was founded in the wake of the Ferguson protests.
Wade had allegedly placed an ad to promote a sexual encounter with a 23-year-old woman, according to police documents, the Daily Caller reports.
“Holla at me. Quick stay specials tonight and tomorrow. Independent. Fun and sexy. Text me to set up an appointment??” reads the ad.
Investigators found that the woman turned out to be 17 years old and called Wade her “manager.” Wade was subsequently arrested at Howard Johnson Inn. The woman said she gave all of her money to Wade, and that he knew she was underage.
“You only have 5 months left until you’re 18, so I’m not worried,” Wade allegedly told her.
He posted $25,000 bail, has denied the charges, and has blamed the pimping on a man he worked with in his charity.
“Someone that we had just started temporarily housing was involved in activities in the temporary housing we obtained for them outside of my knowledge that caused me to be arrested after they were as the person who booked, signed for, provided ID for, and paid for the room,” Wade told the Daily Caller.
The police said that Wade was the only person to communicate with the undercover officer via text message.