California man arrested for child sex trafficking in Scottsdale

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A California man has been arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking involving an underage girl, court records show.

Prentice Ray Thomas, 42, was arrested at a Motel 6 in Scottsdale on April 17.

Police were called to a motel in Scottsdale on the afternoon of April 17 in response to money being taken from an individual.

Officers determined the money was from a prostitution deal, and discovered the female in the room was a 16-year-old missing from Modesto, California. The girl was interviewed at an advocacy center.

Records show Thomas, of Fresno, California, was currently on probation on two felony warrants.

The girl told police she met Thomas online, according to documents.

According to the victim, Thomas took her hours away from her home town, sexually assaulted her in California, and started soliciting her for prostitution.

Thomas then purchased two Amtrak train tickets on April 16 from Fresno to Maricopa, and one was in a child’s name, so no identification was required, said court documents. She said Thomas gave her drugs.

Investigators also interviewed someone who said Thomas was her boyfriend. She said she thought the girl was 19 but also had heard friends say she was 13.

Investigators then discovered online postings dated April 17 with images of the girl. When police confronted Thomas he said the girl was his daughter.

Thomas was arrested and charged with one count of causing child sex trafficking, one count of transporting a minor for sex trafficking, and one count of transferring or selling drugs to a minor. He was released on $15,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on April 27.