A father and son in Maine were summoned last week on sex trafficking charges after what authorities said was a two-year investigation into the escort service run out of their Sidney home.
Summonses were issued to Frederick Horne Sr., 46, and Frederick Horne Jr., 19, Thursday afternoon. The Hornes were each charged with sex trafficking, a class D felony, according to the Morning Sentinel.
Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, along with the FBI, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, state troopers and August police descended on the Hornes’ home, out of which they run a business called “Adam & Eve Escort Service.”
Maloney said there were at least half a dozen women at the home. The women were interviewed by police. None were arrested.
“The focus of the investigation is on those promoting the prostitution and those engaged in sex trafficking. The focus is not on the women at this time,” Maloney said.
Horne Sr. told the Morning Sentinel that he rented rooms to the women.
Maloney said the home has been under surveillance and “conversations with women who have worked for them” were part of the investigation.
“I rent dancers and escorts and whatnot,” Horne Sr. said. “Living here, too, and then work here overall.”
He said the youngest girl working for him is 20 years old and the oldest is 48.
“I just believe it’s very wrong the way things are going,” he said.
“The place here – We’re not where it bothers anybody for one thing,” Horne Sr. said. “Morally, myself, I’ve got my faith, too. Morally it may not be right, but it’s just like anybody else: they have the right to walk by a church or they have the right to walk in. It’s the United State of America. It’s supposed to be a free country.”
“It’s – even out of the officer’s mouths – it’s a victimless crime,” he continued.
“I think it’s important to remember that sex trafficking is not a victimless crime,” said Maloney. “We need to take this seriously and we need to shut it down when we can.”
The national crisis call center, the National Human Trafficking Resource Hotline, has seen calls double in Maine in recent years.
The Sidney bust happened the same day Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed a Maine bill that protect human trafficking victims from facing criminal prosecution.
“It’s important we protect those who cannot protect themselves and if the defendant was herself a sex trafficking victim this bill seeks to address that,” LePage said.