BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) — A woman who allegedly was forced to sell her body across the United States is now safe thanks to quick-acting Brentwood cops who recognized the signs of sex trafficking and quickly intervened.
This alleged sex trafficking case broke wide open Thanksgiving weekend when witnesses at a Franklin Road gas station saw what they believed to be a domestic violence incident.
“A female was being dragged into a car, after being pushed down by a suspect,” said Det. Adrian Breedlove.
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Brentwood police stopped the suspect vehicle, a purple Dodge Challenger. The car was driven by 43-year-old Ontario Lowery, a Wisconsin native.
The assault victim, a 29-year-old woman, was also in the car and was taken to the hospital for her injuries.
“The victim was also most likely a victim of human trafficking,” said Breedlove.
Brentwood police are trained to recognize the signs of human sex trafficking and quickly dig deeper into the victim’s case.
“The victim has described that she had numerous contacts with law enforcement across the United States and unfortunately they were not able to see those signs,” said Breedlove.
For the last two years, Ontario Lowery and his accomplice, Mistiania Ray, 40, have gained financially by allegedly forcing the young woman to prostitute herself, according to Det. Breedlove.
“The victim was trafficked across at least 50 cities in the USA, across at least a dozens of states in the USA, from North Carolina to California from Florida to the northern states.”
Breedlove said he is thankful for the officers on the streets and thankful they could help this woman.
The victim rescued by police is currently in a safe place.
Police told News 2, Ontario Lowery was investigated for similar sex trafficking activities in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2013. At that time, published reports indicate Lowery forced four women to prostitute themselves across multiple states.
Lowery was convicted federally in 2014 and released on the SLC charges in 2016.
He’s currently behind bars in Williamson County.
Both Ray and Lowery are charged with trafficking for a commercial sex act promoting prostitution and criminal conspiracy Lowery’s bond is $290,000. Mistiania Ray’s bond is $205,000.