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He promised her shelter and money. He forced her into sex, deputies say

Gino Smith
Gino Smith Lexington County Detention Center

Lexington County sheriff’s deputies say a man threatened a woman and forced her to perform sex acts for money.

Deputies charged Gino Smith, 43, with trafficking in persons after a May 12 arrest.

That’s when sheriff’s deputies responded to a hotel off St. Andrews Road for a trespassing call.

“As the deputy talked to the victim, it became obvious Smith was controlling her and forcing her to do these things against her will,” Sheriff Jay Koon said in a press release.

Deputies transported the woman for medical treatment. They later arrested Smith at a nearby restaurant.

Smith “used force and fraud to make the victim engage in commercial sexual activity,” Koon said, trafficking her in three separate locations in Lexington County last month.

“He promised her shelter and money but ended up forcing her by threats of physical harm to provide sexual services to other men for money, which he profited from,” Koon said.

Smith is being held in the Lexington County Detention Center.

Court records show Smith has an extensive criminal history, including multiple drug convictions. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. The next year, he was found guilty of domestic violence.

In 2011, Smith pleaded guilty to cocaine possession, and in 2014, Smith pleaded guilty to a host of drug possession and selling charges. Judge Howard King sentenced Smith to five years in prison.

By June 2017, he was out and arrested again by police for drug possession with intent to sell. He pleaded guilty to the charge in February 2019 and was credited for time served of 62 days.

Bristow Marchant is currently split between covering Richland County and the 2020 presidential race. He has more than 10 years’ experience covering South Carolina. He won the S.C. Press Association’s 2015 award for Best Series on a toxic Chester County landfill fire, and was part of The State’s award-winning 2016 election coverage.