Louisville man pleads guilty to charges stemming from coercive p - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville man pleads guilty to charges stemming from coercive prostitution

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to charges relating to coercing prostitution.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Dwayne Watkins, 37, is accused of “transporting adult females, in interstate commerce, with the intent that the females engage in prostitution.”

According to the indictment, Watkins took six women from Kentucky to other states for prostitution between 2007 and 2014.

Officials say five of the women were “psychologically abused and physically assaulted” to keep them from speaking out.

Watkins is accused of using websites like Craigslist, Eros, and Backpage to advertise prostitution and solicit clients.

Watkins admitted in court to taking women from Kentucky to Indiana, North Carolina and Illinois between April 2007 and August 2014.

He also admitted to using verbal and physical abuse to force the women to cooperate with him.

According to the release, one woman “was beaten approximately ten times during the two years that she was under his control.”

Watkins could face up to ten years in prison per charge, a fine of $250,000 per charge and a term of supervised release up to life.

Watkins is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals and is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and LMPD assisted the FBI in the investigation.

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