Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Underage teen girls sold for sex in Louisville -- a WDRB investigation uncovers how known pimps got back in business to prey on much younger girls.
The sign above a Louisville building reads OHM Tranquility -- a business marketing itself for massage on the web classified site www.backpage.com. But police say what happened behind those blinds was much more tragic: "We were able to determine that there were juveniles working at the establishment," says Sgt. Andre Bottoms with LMPD Narcotics.
We're told of at least two 17-year-old girls being sold for sex. Sgt. Bottoms says, "Some days we would conduct surveillance and find two or three people coming in an hour, if not more."
Renae Barr, Jeanacarol Kaufman, and Ivan Deleon are all charged with human trafficking and promoting prostitution.
But this husband and wife (Deleon and Kaufman) were also charged in a case back in 2012 -- charged with the exact same prostitution scam and tax evasion out of a now-closed Jeffersonville business.
Which raises the question -- how were they free? Clark County prosecutor Linda Lamping explains, "We did our agreement based upon the information that we had. We stand by it. However, we will immediately revoke probation."
WDRB News found out that Lamping dismissed most of the case, giving Deleon a four-year suspended sentence, with no time behind bars. His wife received diversion, meaning her record would be erased if she stayed clean for a year.
When asked whether she dropped the ball by not seeing what the two were up to before signing off on the deal, Lamping responded, "Absolutely not. We don't have any balls to drop in someone else's jurisdiction."
But records show the deal was signed in Clark County just last month -- at the same time the couple was allegedly selling teens for sex in Louisville.
When told it looked as if she was taking no accountability that the deal put them back on the streets, Lamping replied, "Absolutely. I take no accountability for that." She added, "Knowing that these new things have come out, in my mind all agreements are off."
LMPD says it's now in contact with the girls' parents, and that there may be a third 17-year-old victim.
Kaufman and Delelon had several so-called massage businesses, including one that just closed near Bowman Field and another police say was in the works for the Portland Neighborhood.