A Minnesota high school cheerleader is accused of prostituting a younger student by creating an online ad and taking her to see potential customers, pocketing $60 in one case.
Montia Marie Parker, 18, of Maple Grove faces felony charges of sex trafficking and promoting prostitution. She is scheduled to appear in court June 12.
Parker was a senior at Hopkins High School when she allegedly set up a Backpage.com ad for a 16-year-old, driving her to an apartment to have oral sex with a man, and taking the $60 the girl made. Authorities allege Parker and the girl drove to another home the next day, but left after the man refused oral sex.
The girl's mother called police after reading text messages between her daughter and Parker on the girl's cellphone, the Star Tribune reported.
Parker's attorney did not immediately return a phone message left by The Associated Press on Tuesday evening. A home phone listing for Parker could not be found.
The 16-year-old had mentioned to others that she was trying to make some money. Parker sent the girl a Facebook message and text message about how she could make money having sex, requesting that the girl send her photos of herself, the charges allege.
Parker posted the photos on Backpage.com, listing her phone number as the contact, the charges said. On March 5, the girls left school and went to an apartment building. When the younger girl returned to the car, she gave Parker the $60 and Parker deposited it into her own bank account, according to the complaint.
The next day, Parker pretended to be the girl's mother and called the school to get her excused, the charges said. The girls left school and went to a home where the girl was directed to have sex with a man. She refused.
"You'll be fine -- I didn't drive up here for nothing, and eventually you will need to have sex," Parker told the girl, according to the complaint. The girl told the man she wouldn't have intercourse with him but would give him oral sex. The man refused and Parker drove the girl back to Hopkins High School, according to the complaint.
The girl's mother checked her daughter's cellphone after noticing changes in her daughter's behavior and hearing that she had an unexcused absence from school.
Minneapolis Lt. Kim Lund, president of the Minnesota Juvenile Officers' Association, said authorities have noticed more cases within the last five years involving teen girls using Backpage.com. However, Lund said, it's unusual to have a case involving a teen prostituting a fellow teen; most human trafficking cases involve adult men or women contacting teens.
Parker admitted to police that she had created the ad and told them she received "a lot of calls" related to it, according to the complaint. She's free on $50,000 bond.
Hopkins High School's last day of classes is Thursday, but school officials said they acted immediately after learning of the charges.
"In responding to this incident, we followed our discipline and safety policy, which includes permanently removing a student from campus," the district said in a statement.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued the U.S. government Tuesday over the way Mexicans accused of living in the country illegally agree to be sent home, claiming the so-called voluntary departures are actually coerced.
The federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles alleges immigration authorities in Southern California routinely steer Mexican immigrants away from insisting on an appearance before an immigration judge. They are told they face months in jail while their cases are decided and are falsely informed that they can easily arrange legal status once they're back in Mexico, the lawsuit alleges.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol offer voluntary departures to some immigrants without criminal records, sparing them the possibility of stiffer penalties under formal deportation orders. Voluntary departures prohibit immigrants from re-entering the U.S. for up to 10 years.
The lawsuit by the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other department officials names seven Mexican men and women who allege they were misled, including Samuel Nava, who came to the U.S. on a tourist visa in 2003 but didn't leave.
Police pulled over Nava east of San Diego in 2011 for driving with a broken license-plate light and turned him over to the Border Patrol, which offered a voluntary departure. The ACLU said Nava could have asked a judge for legal status because he was married to a U.S. citizen, but he accepted the offer and now cannot return to the U.S. for 10 years.
"(The Border Patrol agents) told me the easiest thing to do was just sign the forms," Nava told a San Diego news conference through a video connection to La Paz, Mexico.
Peter Boogaard, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, said he wouldn't comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, asks that authorities revamp their procedures to fully explain the consequences of agreeing to leave the country and to avoid trying to persuade immigrants to take the offers.