A Thomasville woman is charged with multiple crimes in a child sex case that involves a local teen and a Florida investigation.
Christine Louise Thurman, 28, 919 N. Crawford St., was arrested Saturday night by the U.S. Marshals Service, Homeland Security, Tallahassee (Fla.) Police Department (TPD) and Thomas County Sheriff’s Office.
The local teen is a girl, 16, found at a Tallahassee motel, said Lt. Tim Watkins, sheriff’s office chief investigator.
Federal, Tallahassee and local authorities began looking for Thurman in Thomasville Friday and found her at her residence at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Also arrested in the case is Derek Reddick, 26, for whom there is no address, said Officer Dave Northway, TPD public information officer.
Thurman is charged with three counts of pimping/person under 18 years of age, human trafficking and two counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes.
Charges on Reddick are human trafficking, procuring for prostitution a minor under 18 years of age, cruelty toward a child using or allowing a child to engage in sex and procuring for prostitution to live off earnings of a prostitute.
Thurman is being held in the Thomas County Jail and will be extradited to Florida.
Reddick is in the Leon County (Fla.) Jail.
A probable cause affidavit obtained from TPD shows:
On Jan. 27, 2014, a Tallahassee police officer received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about possible child prostitution. The information was provided to NCMEC by administrators of an online site, Backpage, which is used in part as an advertisement location for escorts and other sex-related activities.
The advertisement included photographs of a female who did not appear to be 18 years of age. Tentative identification said the teen was a 17-year-old, who had been reported missing from Boynton Beach, Fla.
An undercover investigator contacted the girl by a listed telephone number and arranged a meeting at a Tallahassee motel. No personal items were in the room, which appeared to be used solely for sexual encounters.
A man who entered the motel room from an adjacent room was identified as Reddick. The room was paid for by Thurman.
Search warrants were issued by a Tallahassee judge for the two motel rooms. Among the items found was a pack of baby wipes. a 40-count box of condoms and personal items belonging to Reddick and Thurman. Found in a trash can was a piece of paper listing “Profits” for Jan. 4, Jan. 5 and Jan. 7.
A total of 13 advertisements were listed, including one posted in Thomasville by a man with a Thomasville address. Other advertisements were posted in Tallahassee and in Panama City, Fla., and Pensacola, Fla.
An advertisement posted in Tallahassee had an address of a fast-food restaurant at Panama City Beach, Fla. Meanwhile multiple advertisements were posted for or by Thurman in Tallahassee.
On May, 15, the 16-year-old Thomasville girl was identified through an online advertisement that included photographs of the teen and prices for sexual encounters and different time frames.
On May 23, the investigation led to a Tallahassee motel, where a nude girl answered the door. An Asian male in the room also was nude. An unwrapped condom was on the bed.
The girl told an investigator she was staying in the room with a woman she knew as “Tweety” and a man known as “Baby Daddy.” The individuals were identified as Thurman and Reddick, respectively.
The teen said she purchased the online ads with a cash card she believed was purchased by Reddick.
She later admitted being involved in prostitution and told investigators Thurman transported her from Thomasville after meeting her mother. Thurman, the girl said, told her mother she would travel to Destin, Fla., with Thurman to baby-sit Thurman’s child.
Reddick told authorities he knew the teen was involved in prostitution, but he had no part in her activities.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.