A human trafficking suspect is facing up to 648 years in prison, according to reports, as details emerged about the case.
Kenndric Roberts of Fulton County, Georgia, faces a total of 62 counts of charges related to forcing multiple women into stripping while keeping them prisoner, Fox46 reported. The charges include trafficking a person for labor servitude felony, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and participation in criminal street gang activity.
WSB-TV reported that he’s been accused of luring women to a mansion that he was renting and then forced them to strip in a club and pay him a portion. He threatened them with bodily harm if they tried to leave.
He was arrested in March 2017 after a woman called 911 to report that she needed help, police said.
“I’m running a business. I’m not running some mom and pop shop here,” Roberts told a WBS-TV reporter. “These things are accounted for.”
He told the station that his Live Star Nation business works with athletes, models, and other entertainers.
“As I engaged a lot of them, I started to say, ‘Hey, what can we do on a business relationship to where we benefit each other?’” he said. “Unfortunately, most of these girls I did run into, they were going through poverty situations at the time.”
He offered women lucrative contracts, room, and board, he claimed in the report. “Let me provide you housing. Not just regular housing. Quality housing. A mansion or somewhere where rent is $3,000-plus,” he said. “Exotic cars. Your Audis, your Lamborghinis, these types of exotic cars.”
“It was a contract, a voluntary contract agreement,” he said. Roberts said that he never forced women to dance for money.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, however, has alleged that Roberts was a Gangster Disciples gang member. Investigators said that he forced the women to get gang-related tattoos as a “sign of their loyalty,” Fox46 reported.
When he was asked about his gang affiliations in the WSB-TV report, he responded. “Gangs. I was waiting on that,” said Roberts. “That’s a real tough question there as far as ‘What is a gang?’” Roberts said that the tattoos on his hands, “7” and “4,” are references to the alphabet, “G” and “D.” It doesn’t mean “Gangster Disciples,” he said, but they mean, “Growth and development.”
In a court appearance on Thursday, he said that he might represent himself, 11Alive reported.
“You’ve [previously] been instructed by the court to make arrangements for an attorney and that yet has not happened,” said Fulton County Superior Court Judge Todd Markle, according to 11Alive. “Should you wind up representing yourself in this case by waiving your right to counsel, you understand that to represent yourself is almost always unwise in a serious criminal case like this. You understand that?”
“I do,” responded Roberts.
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