Three people, including a father and son, were charged with sex trafficking Thursday after police raids on two homes where unrelated prostitution rings were based, police said.
Frederick Horne Sr., 46, and Frederick Horne Jr., 19, both of 2874 West River Road in Sidney, were issued summonses after police raided the house, site of Adam & Eve escort service, after a two-year investigation.
Gretchen Patrick, 51, of Augusta, was charged with sex trafficking for allegedly running a separate, unrelated prostitution business, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The Hornes were each charged with sex trafficking, a class D crime, according to Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.
Maloney estimated that at least a half-dozen women were at the home and all were interviewed by police. The women were not arrested, she said.
“The focus of the investigation is on those promoting the prostitution and those engaged in sex trafficking,” Maloney said. “The focus is not on the women at this time.”
Horne Sr. told the Morning Sentinel on Thursday that he was renting out rooms in his home to women.
The investigation in Sidney lasted about two years and involved surveillance, phone calls and “conversations with women who have worked for them,” Maloney said.
Maine State Police, Augusta police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Computer Crimes Task Force and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency took part in the raid, she said.
Horne was arrested in 2006 on a charge of possession of a schedule Z drug after police pulled him over and found a bottle of pills in his car.
At the time, Horne owned an erotic rubdown parlor called Gentleman’s Choice on Main Street in Waterville, according to Morning Sentinel archives. In October 2005, two women working at Horne’s parlor were charged with engaging in prostitution after meeting with undercover officers.
Patrick operated an escort service called Sarah’s Place from a mobile home in Litchfield. The residence was raided in mid-afternoon Thursday.
Several advertisements for both escort services have been published on the classified ad website backpage.com and in the Morning Sentinel classifieds section
The raids came the same day that Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill that helps prevent human trafficking victims from facing criminal conviction. The new law makes sex trafficking a defense to the charge of prostitution.
The bill also fines perpetrators of sex trafficking $500 to $1,000 in addition to existing penalties and allows victims to draw from the Victims’ Compensation Fund. The bill, L.D. 1730, was sponsored by Rep. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough.
Calls from Maine to the National Human Trafficking Resource Hotline doubled from 22 in 2009 to 44 in 2012. During the same period, the hotline saw its national call volume go from more than 7,600 to nearly 21,000.
Jesse Scardina can be contacted at 861-9239 or at: