Central Texas police said that a San Antonio man spent the past six months leading college women into prostitution until Monday, when he was taken into custody. The women were located in cities across Texas.
San Antonio law enforcement arrested area resident Steven Sumlin, 38, on charges of suspicion of aggravated promotion of prostitution, a third degree felony, KSAT-12 reported.
Police department spokesman Douglas Greene said that authorities believe the San Antonio resident forced up to 30 women into prostitution and pimped them out in San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas.
“He would go to these college campuses and attempt to reach out to these females,” said Greene.
However, it appears much of his outreach was online. Greene added that Sumlin would use internet ads to try to reach out to college age female students to work for him.
Greene also said Sumlin was convincing. “It’s very smooth talking – very convincing talk that he uses to lure these individuals in. And once he’s got them in their grips. That’s where he’s got them, and they stay there,” he said.
While leading college women into prostitution, Sumlin allegedly promised the women hundreds or thousands of dollars a day. Officials say he also used intimidation and force to keep them working for him according to police said that once the women were employed.
Police are now warning college-aged women to beware of internet ads that promise easy money but are likely a gateway into prostitution, according to KENS-5.
The San Antonio Police Department Vice Unit worked with the Texas Attorney General’s Office and police departments in Austin and Dallas as part of a six-month investigation that lead to the Sumlin’s arrest in a home in northwest San Antonio.
Police said Sumlin was also known by the name Anthony Lamar. He is charged with aggravated prostitution because of the number of women he is accused of victimizing.
With the college Fall semesters starting, Greene warned that female students need to be wary of these kinds of ads.
“They should not be answering ads that’s offering them to make a lot of money,” said Greene, who cautioned if they do, they could find themselves victimized in similar bad situation.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.