BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - A Louisiana man has become the first person to be ever charged with human trafficking in Brazos County.
34-year-old Herman Fox was arrested March 20th and is accused of forcing a Louisiana woman into taking drugs, sex, beating her and breaking her ribs. Investigators with the Department of Public Safety said they rescued a woman in August after she'd been forced into sex trafficking. Fox was allegedly listing her on a website used to solicit sex.
The Human Trafficking Unit with the Texas Attorney's General and the Sexual Assault Resource Center, or SARC, in Bryan tell KBTX that's a common theme.
"It's happening in our own backyards and most of the time it's from online exploitation," said Tracey Calanog, the Program Director at SARC.
"Whenever somebody needs to talk or needs support this is where we'll bring them," Calanog said as she showed us around the room.
Some of her clients are victims of sex trafficking.
"We try and empower them and we try and give that back to them. We want them to understand that they can make decisions and that we're going to be able to support them," Canalog said.
Investigators tracked Fox's cell phone to the Brazos Valley. He and the woman were found in a hotel off Highway 6 in College Station. Fox was arrested in the parking lot for possession of marijuana. In February, investigators charged him with sex trafficking.
Court documents say the woman thanked investigators for "saving her life." The arrest report also stated the two stayed at another hotel on Texas Avenue in Bryan. The new owner tell us they take trafficking very seriously and will be working to clean up clientele at the new Motel 6 which opens soon.
DPS investigators say after Fox and the victim stayed in Bryan, they traveled to Houston. It was there, the report said, the woman was able to get away briefly and call her husband, who contacted police.
"It's often very, very difficult for survivors to reach out for help because they if they find out that they're reaching out for help or trying to basically escape sometimes the violence gets even worse," said Calanog.
Fox is still in jail with bond listed at $24,000. Neither DPS, nor the Brazos County District Attorney would talk to KBTX on camera because this is still an active investigation.
The victim in the crime told DPS she was taken to nearly half a dozen cities.
Investigator's say Fox's girlfriend was also with them at some of the hotel stops.
We have a map of the areas she claims she was taken in the related media section of this story.
If you need help the Sexual Assault Resource Center can be reached at (979) 731-1000.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).