MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Chicago man has been accused of prostituting a 15-year-old in the St. Paul area, and beating her so bad that he nearly killed her, too.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County, 38-year-old Arteco Marvell Rhodes was charged with one count of first-degree engaging in sex trafficking, one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, and one count of possession of child pornography.
The complaint states that in the first week of April, Rhodes brought a 15-year-old girl up from Chicago, telling her she would make money and be “part of a family.”
On the way to Chicago, Rhodes had sex with the girl twice. And during the second time he took cell phone photos of them both looking into the mirror after intercourse, photos which police would later use as evidence.
Then, once at a north St. Paul apartment, Rhodes placed an ad for the victim on backpage.com. The victim had sex with one man who paid her $85, all of which she gave to Rhodes.
Other arrangements took place, but usually failed because the men wouldn’t have enough money.
After refusing to have sex with a man, Rhodes became enraged and beat the girl for three hours, hitting her with a baseball bat and punching her in the eye, all while threatening to kill her. He told her he’d either burn her or throw her in the river.
Rhodes then choked the victim until she passed out, and when she came back to consciousness, she got hit by Rhodes with a baseball bat again.
He did let her go, saying “Go be a kid. Stay out of the way. And don’t say anything.”
The victim was found and taken to Regions Hospital.