Metro-East News

Woman in sex-trafficking case ordered held until trial

A woman accused of helping her husband recruit minor girls for prostitution, including one from the metro-east, will be held in custody until trial, a federal judge ruled Monday.

At a detention hearing in federal court in East St. Louis, Judge Stephen C. Williams ordered that Robin Thompson be held until trial.

Prosecutor Daniel Kapsak argued that Thompson should be locked up because she’s a threat to public safety and a threat to flee. He also argued that Thompson’s alleged victims are afraid.

Thompson and her husband, Marcus Dewayne Thompson, were charged last week with recruiting girls ages 12-18 and forcing them into working as prostitutes. The girls were taken to Tennessee, Florida and Texas, according to authorities.

Kapsack, in his argument for detention, said Robin Thompson had sex with the unnamed victim and another girl on at least one occasion so that she could take pictures to advertise a twosome special.

“She wanted a man to pay for sex with them,” Kapsack told Williams. “She is a danger to the community, including minors.

“She made significant admissions on Aug. 21, when she was interviewed by federal agents,” Kapsack said, including admitting to using her phone to take pictures that she used for advertising the victims for prostitution.

She said they had “so many customers that it was hard to keep track,” Kapsack said.

The girls were told to ask patrons whether they were cops before they got involved in any sexual activity with them, Kapsack said.

“There is no combination of conditions that would assure us that she would not harm members of the public. She is desperate, has no job, no money, has a baby that she will try to get,” Kapsack said. “She knows how to operate the sex business alone and does not need her husband, he said.

“She knows how to run the organization and how to use technology to advertise it and would try to get back to running it. She is too great of a danger,” Kapsack said.

In court last week, Marcus Thompson waived his right to a detention hearing, and was ordered held until trial.

One of the alleged victims is a 15-year-old girl from the East St. Louis area, who said the Thompsons picked her up one evening while she walked in Madison. The girl told police the Thompsons promised she could make a lot of money through modeling. The girl told police she earned about $1,000 a day through prostitution for her captors, from about June 9 until about July 4.

The girl told police the Thompsons threatened her and other the girls with being killed and thrown to the alligators in a swamp if they tried to escape. The girl said she believed that one girl, who is not identified in the criminal complaint, was thrown to the alligators.

The Thompsons are from Park Hills, Mo. Robin Thompson worked in Belleville at one point.