GEARY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Junction City couple is facing human trafficking charges after prosecutors say they helped a young girl become a prostitute.
Trisha Smith, 33, was arrested Thursday at the Geary County Courthouse for Aggravated Human Trafficking, Aggravated Intimidation of a Victim, Sexual Exploitation of a Child, Conspiracy to Commit Human Trafficking and Conspiracy to Commit Sexual Exploitation of a Child.
Smith was at the courthouse to testify as a witness during a preliminary hearing for her live-in boyfriend, Paul Goodman III, 42, who was arrested on similar charges in May. Instead of being called to testify during the hearing, Smith was taken into custody and is now a co-defendant in the case.
Assistant Geary County Attorney Michelle Brown says the couple allowed a runway girl to live at their Junction City home from April-May and during that time, helped her engaged in prostitution. Brown says the couple also took sexually explicit photos of the underage girl “in the process of helping her engage in prostitution.”
The victim reportedly ended up contacted family members via the computer, saying she was not safe and didn’t know how to get out of the situation.
Michelle Brown declined to provide the victim’s exact age, saying only that she is under the age of 18. She also declined to comment on the victim’s current whereabouts. She ran away from her mother’s home in Kansas, Brown said.
Trisha Smith made her first court appearance Friday. Her bond was set at $50,000 and she was appointed an attorney. Officials indicated that she is unemployed and does not have a criminal history. She is set to appear in court again on August 8th at 9 AM for a status hearing. Smith asked the judge if she could “say something” during her first appearance but the judge advised her not to make any comments without an attorney. She is not allowed to have any contact with Goodman, the alleged victims or any witnesses in the case.
Meanwhile, Paul Goodman, was bound over for trial Thursday. He is also being held on a $50,000 bond. His arraignment is set for September 16th. Prosecutors say he has a lengthy criminal history.