An Ohio woman was sentenced to eight years in prison for forcing a developmentally disabled woman into sex work, allegedly threatening to kill the victim and her family if she did not cooperate, authorities said.
Prosecutors said that Ashley Embry, 27, posted pictures of the woman wearing provocative clothing on Backpage.com and set up “dates,” forcing her to meet “clients” at a Super 8 motel in Springdale in October 2016, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The victim, who is in her early 30s but whose mental capacity is that of a 10 or 12 year old, was also forced to smoke crack, prosecutors said.
Embry was reportedly given a tongue lashing by Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Jody Luebbers, who on Monday sentenced her to eight years in prison.
Embry pleaded guilty last month to attempted human trafficking, but charges of compelling prostitution and promoting prostitution had been dropped.
“You were so selfish," Luebbers said. "You were so uncaring, and the actions you took are just reprehensible. She may not look like a child, but she is a child, and you just took advantage of her.”
Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor Jocelyn Chess said Embry admitted that she knew the victim was developmentally disabled, saying the defendant referred to the woman as "retard."
"She took advantage of a victim who had a childlike mind," Chess said.
The victim was reportedly held captive at the motel for several days before Embry claimed she told the woman to leave.
"It just wasn’t working out. She had a different way of working, and got into drama with people at the hotel and it always messed with my work,” Embry said, according to a presentence report Luebbers read in court.
Embry will be forced to register as a sex offender when she is released from prison.
During her hearing, Embry claimed she wanted to go to trial because she "wanted the truth to come out," the Enquirer wrote.
“I never took anything from this woman. I never did,” Embry said during the hearing. “I did for her what was done for me.”
Embry struggled with drug addiction and had allegedly been a victim of human trafficking in the past, her attorney, Scott Rubenstein said.
“Addiction does horrible things to people. It changes the way people think and operate,” he said in court, according to the Enquirer wrote. “The way she chose to deal with this and get through life was no way to live."