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Police say man locked woman in closet, forced prostitution

A Las Vegas man is facing sex trafficking, child abuse and kidnapping charges after police said he forced a woman into prostitution for nearly three weeks, locking her in a closet for hours and physically attacked her.

Police said Cory Hughes, 30, encountered the victim on Dec. 8 while she was walking to her mother’s house. Hughes set up the woman’s first “date” the next day, and forced her to work as a prostitute every day from Dec. 10 until his arrest on Tuesday, according a Las Vegas police arrest report.

Hughes allegedly punched the victim awake after he checked her Instagram account and noticed she received a message from a Black man. The woman had to follow a set of rules from Hughes that included “don’t talk to Black dudes,” the victim told detectives according to the report.

Hughes then put the woman into a storage closet under the stairs and barricaded the door, locking her inside for five and a half hours. The woman described the closet as “Harry Potter’s” closet to police. Hughes kept the woman in the closet from 10 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. about one week before Hughes’ arrest, according to the report.

In one instance, the victim bought water with the money she made from prostitution leading to Hughes grabbing the victim by the neck and forcing her into the car, police said. He drove behind a business, removed her from the car and kicked, hit, and dragged the woman along the ground, according to the report. Hughes made the woman continue working after the attack, the report stated.

In another incident, Hughes allegedly used the victim’s 2-year-old son to keep her working as a prostitute saying that “she couldn’t leave him because he had her kid,” the arrest report stated. Hughes also struck the woman in front of her son causing the child to cry.

On Tuesday, the woman told an Uber driver she needed help, and the driver flagged down police who then responded to Hughes’ address and placed him into custody.

District Court records show Hughes pleaded guilty to child abuse in March and was placed on 36 months probation in August.

As of late Thursday, Hughes remained in custody and was being held without bail. He is due in court on Jan. 3.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

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