In February, a Florida woman answered a Craigslist ad that led to a man paying for her to ride a bus to Macon.
Soon after the Jacksonville woman arrived in town she realized she’d been brought to Macon to work as a prostitute, Che’ferre Young, a Bibb County prosecutor said during a Thursday court hearing.
The Florida woman went to what she described as a “date room” where men knocked on the door, set up as potential customers by a man she knew as “King,” Young said.
The woman refused to answer the door. After four or five customers were turned away, Najiy Williams — the man who’d paid for her to come to Macon — came in, the prosecutor said.
Along with Williams were several men.
The men stayed behind after Williams left.
“They proceeded to gang rape” the woman, Young said.
Afterward, the men threw money on a table in the room. The woman later overheard Williams telling someone he’d made $900 off her that night, Young said.
Williams, 34, is charged with rape, trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude and misdemeanor marijuana possession.
He appeared in Bibb County Superior Court on Thursday asking for a bond. After hearing arguments from Young and Williams’ attorney, the judge denied bond.
Williams’ lawyer, Melvin Raines, said the woman answered an ad that solicited models or escorts.
Williams admits he arranged for her to come to Macon, picked her up at a bus station on Feb. 16 and took her to the Rodeway Inn behind McDonald’s on Riverside Drive where she’d be living, Raines said.
Then, another ad was placed in the dating section on Craigslist, advertising escort services and modeling. The woman’s phone number was included in the ad along with fake photos, he said.
A couple of men visited with the woman until the morning of Feb. 17 when the woman “decided she didn’t want to do it anymore” and asked to go back to Florida, Raines said.
She said her home was about to be foreclosed upon and made a scene, he said.
Williams drove her to the Greyhound bus station on Spring Street where she called police.
Raines said evidence will show the woman set up her own appointments and “she voluntarily engaged in whatever activities she engaged in.”
Williams, who works at a Gray Highway business selling beauty products, adamantly denies the rape allegation, Raines said.
They knew he was buying and selling other women.
Prosecutor Che’ferre Young said of women questioned by police at the motel
Young said the initial Craigslist ad was for art and modeling. It was the woman’s understanding that she would be escorted to and from events since she was from out of town.
She became hysterical after the alleged gang rape and Williams felt she was going to be too much of a “risk and a hazard,” so he took her back to the bus station, the prosecutor said.
During their investigation, Bibb County deputies and the FBI talked with other women at the motel who said they were scared to leave, Young said.
The women felt threatened and had seen Williams beat other women who wanted to leave, she said.
“They knew he was buying and selling other women,” Young said.
Five rooms at the motel were searched and four other women also reportedly lured there were removed from the motel. Williams was arrested March 16.
Raines said Williams was sentenced to a year on probation in connection with a Henry County misdemeanor prostitution case.
He also was convicted of misdemeanor deposit account fraud in Baldwin County, Young said.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.