Las Vegas Casino-Linked Sex Trafficking Case Dropped
Posted on: March 30, 2021, 09:31h.
Last updated on: March 30, 2021, 11:48h.
A man twice accused of sex trafficking in Las Vegas has had his case dropped for the second time by local authorities. The most recent incident started when a woman wearing only her underwear came upon a security guard at Wild Wild West Casino, reporting she was assaulted by her pimp.
Charges against the alleged pimp, identified as Rontu Ary Elam, 42, were filed over a year ago. They were dismissed after the victim would not cooperate with cops and prosecutors, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported this week.
He had been charged with sex trafficking, domestic battery by strangulation, domestic battery with substantial bodily harm, and coercion in connection with the 2019 case.
Previously, Elam had an earlier human trafficking and assault case dropped after that victim was worried Elam would kill her, the Review-Journal reported. Prosecutors also dropped an unrelated murder case against Elam after a witness disappeared.
Alleged Victim Uncooperative
In the most recent case, the accuser appears to have left Nevada, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told the Review-Journal.
Police investigations of the trafficking crimes started in 2019 following the accusations. They led to two cases investigated by the Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task Force.
In one of these, the woman who encountered the security guard allegedly “was punched in the mouth and thrown out of a maroon 4-door Lincoln sedan,” a police arrest report for Elam said. “(She) said she was hit by her pimp and thrown from the vehicle because she was not doing what she was supposed to.”
Before she was tossed from the car, Elam also allegedly punched her. She had head injuries and lost consciousness, the woman later told cops.
“(She) also said Elam was her pimp and had been sex trafficking her since April 2019,” the arrest report further alleged.
In the other incident, Elam allegedly strangled and assaulted a woman. It was unclear if it was the same female victim or someone else.
In this case, the woman suffered a bruised and swollen left eye. A front tooth was missing.
Elam struck her numerous times all over her body, placed his hands around her neck which restricted her breathing to the point of losing consciousness,” police further claimed in a report.
This woman had been arrested for prostitution. She did not want to assist police in the inquiry because “she was afraid Elam would kill her and that police would be unable to keep her safe,” the police report, quoted by the Review-Journal, adds.
Elam has denied the charges.
Elam Arrested for Rapper Murder
In an earlier incident, Elam was once charged with a 2005 murder, the Review-Journal said. That case was also dismissed in 2007, the report said.
That homicide related to the fatal shooting of Roosevelt “Mr. Looks” Hines, a 30-year-old rapper, who was killed outside of a Las Vegas music studio, the Review-Journal said. A witness in that case disappeared and was apparently afraid to testify, the report adds.
Limited Trials In Nevada Trafficking
Most sex trafficking cases are prosecuted by local courts in Nevada. That works out to about 60 to 80 a year, the Review-Journal said. Even so, sex trafficking was not included as a state crime until 2013.
In 2020, a record eight trafficking cases were filed by the US Attorney’s office for Nevada in the local federal court. There was just one in 2019 and none in 2018, the report adds. US Attorney Nicholas Trutanich recently promised to keep the pressure on sex traffickers during this year.
Officially, Nevada law prohibits prostitution in Las Vegas and elsewhere in Clark County. But since the COVID-19 outbreak, some of the workers at the state’s limited number of licensed, shuttered brothels (none of which are in Clark County) began to offer sex illegally, according to a recent Associated Press report.
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