A 35-year-old man who is accused of holding a woman captive in a Pineville hotel and trafficking her for sex will remain in jail after he waived his preliminary and detention hearings Wednesday morning.
According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, 35-year-old Thomas Stinnette is accused of picking up the woman in Georgia last week and holding her captive.
Stinnette’s appearance in federal court was scheduled for Wednesday morning. He will remain behind bars after waiving his hearings.
The investigation began when the woman’s mother called Pineville Police last Wednesday to say her daughter was being held against her will at the Comfort Suites. Officers were able to find the woman in a hotel room with Stinnette and got her out safely.
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During an interview with FBI agents, the woman told investigators that her friend Charity picked her up in Georgia and Stinnette was with her. She said he drove the girls to various cities in Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Miami, where they partied and went to bars.
When she woke up on Oct. 1, Charity was gone. She tried to reach Charity but did not get a response to any calls or text messages.
The woman reportedly told Stinnette she wanted to go home, but didn’t have any money or a car. He told her that he wanted to go to Jacksonville because “she had a pretty face and he could make her rich,” according to the complaint. He reportedly told her he knew a woman who could do a photoshoot with her.
That’s when the woman said she fell asleep in the car and woke up in Charlotte.
Stinnette gave her prepaid cards to pay for a room at the Comfort Suites and said she was going to make money prostituting, according to the complaint.
That’s when she said Stinnette posted prostitution ads on Backpage.com and bought her a phone to call and text potential clients. When the clients arrived at the hotel, he reportedly would leave the room and wait outside in his car until the encounters were over.
The woman said she was told to put the money from the “dates” in a drawer and he would then collect all the money.
The woman was able to contact her mother on a cellphone Stinnette did not know she owned on Oct. 2. She told her mother where she was and that she wanted to go home, but her mom and sisters did not have the money to get her until Oct. 4, according to the complaint.
The woman told investigators that she did not leave the hotel room from Oct. 2 until Oct. 4, when she went to a nearby mall after Stinnette gave her money to buy items at Victoria’s Secret.
Stinnette reportedly told investigators that he brought the woman from Florida to Charlotte and knew that she was going to be prostituting. He said he bought food for her, provided condoms for her and got her a hotel room.
He reportedly told investigators that he gave her money on top of the money from prostituting to make her car payment. He said he was there to make sure that she was safe.
Stinnette is being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail on a federal hold.