JONESBORO — A Newnan man is headed for prison after pleading guilty to human trafficking, a conviction believed to be the first in Clayton County.
Quincy Maurice Jones, 35, was sentenced to 20 years, to serve 13 in prison, said Senior Assistant District Attorney Jeff Gore.
Jones was on trial in Clayton County Superior Court, charged with pimping, false imprisonment, human trafficking, rape and aggravated sodomy when he decided to change his plea to guilty, said Gore.
The agreement ended the trial with the primary witness on the stand.
“He took a plea deal while the victim was still on the stand,” he said. “She was extremely emotional and broke down during my examination of her. Cross-examination would have been extremely difficult for her.”
Jones pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and human trafficking and the other charges were dropped.
“We’re happy with the results,” said Gore. “Maybe this will change his decisions in the future. We’re sure there are other victims out there and he’s definitely negatively impacted the lives of these young girls.”
Gore said evidence showed Jones was pimping 15-20 girls at any given time. One of the prostitutes was identified as helping Jones in the criminal scheme involving the victim, a 21-year-old LaGrange woman.
However, she was 17 at the time and also considered a victim, so she was not charged and not identified, said Gore. He said the older woman was vulnerable.
“She was naive, vulnerable,” he said. “She lived with her older sister, baby-sat her sister’s kids. She was easily victimized. She thought Jones was her boyfriend.”
Jones took the woman to a Super 8 motel in Clayton County and forced her to pose for photos for backpage.com where men troll for prostitutes who advertise their services as escorts.
“The 17-year-old girl threatened her with a taser that first night,” said Gore. “She would have been considered a co-defendant but was being pimped herself.”
It is against the law to keep anyone in servitude by forcing them to perform sex acts and also illegal to keep a person under 18 in servitude.
Nine men responded to the backpage.com photos the next day and the older woman was forced to have sex with one of them, said Gore. Two other prostitutes serviced the other eight.
The older woman was able to escape from the room and run to a liquor store to get help. Police got a search warrant for the hotel room and found a laptop that showed Jones was posting advertisements for escorts in the way the woman described, according to testimony.
Even with that evidence, Gore said the case was problematic and more than a year old by the time it landed on his desk.
“The case looked un-winnable,” he said.
That all changed when the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office conducted an undercover operation that targeted prostitutes and pimps.
“The case was unindicted for a long time,” he said. “In the meantime, Jones got arrested a second time in an undercover sting operation in May 2013. He was pimping a different girl who had just turned 17.”
Gore said the second arrest made the difference in his opinion of the ability to get a conviction.
“I thought then that maybe we could get this guy,” he said. “I felt like we had a good shot at some of the charges.”
The charges were strengthened when Jones knocked on the door of the hotel room while police were interviewing the second 17-year-old.
“He told police that was his room,” said Gore. “And she looked at him and said, ‘He’s my pimp.’”
Gore said Jones knew exactly how to manipulate the women into prostitution.
“He was a smooth talker,” he said. “He promised them a life of glamour. Then he took all their money.”