TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The wife and stepdaughter of a minister charged with child sex trafficking abducted one of his victims at gunpoint and warned her not to testify at his trial that’s scheduled to begin in two weeks, investigators said.
The pair forced the teen from her apartment early Saturday, choked her with a cord and told her to take back statements she made to investigators, according to court documents.
One of the women told the teen, whose name was not released, that they were going to have a “heart to heart” conversation, an FBI agent said in the documents.
Alisa Haynes, 43, and Alexis Fortune, 24, were charged with witness tampering and made initial appearances in federal court Monday. Fortune’s attorney declined to comment on the charges while a message was left with an attorney representing Haynes.
Haynes is the wife of Anthony Haynes, one of two former Toledo pastors expected to go on trial Jan. 22. He has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of paying a girl for sex.
Prosecutors have said Haynes first began pursuing and grooming a 14-year-old girl in 2014 and that he gave her money for sex. He also warned her not to say anything because it would ruin his family and his church, according to court documents.
Haynes later introduced the girl to Cordell Jenkins, another pastor in Toledo, and shared pornographic photos and videos that he had recorded, prosecutors said. Jenkins later began having sex with the girl supplied by Haynes and later with another underage girl, an FBI agent testified.
Jenkins also has pleaded not guilty to child sex trafficking charges and also is slated to go on trial this month.
A third minister, Kenneth Butler, pleaded guilty in May to charges in the case, including child sex trafficking, and is expected to face 17 years in prison.