A Eugene man and his uncle were charged Tuesday with the sex trafficking of a 16-year-old runaway who used online classified ads to advertise prostitution services, according to federal court documents.
Darryl Tyrone Norwood Jr., 26, and his uncle, 38-year-old California resident Wayne Eldridge Ratliff, appeared together in U.S. District Court in Eugene. Both are charged with sex trafficking of a child.
Eugene police arrested Ratliff on Thursday at a Eugene motel after he allegedly had driven a 16-year-old girl there so she could carry out a paid sexual encounter with a man who had responded to an advertisement
Apparently unknown to the girl, the person who had arranged the meeting was an undercover Eugene police detective working with Fennerty, according to the affidavit.
Ratliff told investigators that he did not know the girl was 16, and he denied knowing that she had worked as a prostitute, Fennerty wrote.
Fennerty originally interviewed the girl regarding her involvement in prostitution in June after her mother had contacted the FBI, according to the affidavit.
Authorities tracked down the girl in November in Portland -- where she had been working as a prostitute for another person -- and she told Fennerty that Norwood had been one of her pimps, the affidavit states.
Norwood allegedly purchased a prepaid credit card for the girl to use to post prostitution ads online.
During the past six months, he and Ratliff paid for motel rooms in the Eugene-Springfield area where the teen met with a number of men who had paid her for sex, according to Fennerty's affidavit.
Police arrested Norwood on Monday after reviewing messages and data on the girl's cellphone that showed she had been in contact with him, the affidavit states.
Norwood told police that he knew Ratliff was associated with the girl, but he denied facilitating any acts of prostitution, according to the affidavit.
The girl told investigators that she generally gave Norwood all of the money she made working as a prostitute, and that Ratliff had sometimes given her rides to places where she had sex with other people for money, Fennerty wrote.
The girl said Norwood knows she is 16 and that he "yells at her to control her. She is afraid of him," the affidavit states.
A judge on Tuesday ordered Norwood and Ratliff held in the Lane County Jail before trial.
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