BOISE - A judge set a $1 million bond Thursday for a Las Vegas man who police say was forcing women into prostitution in Boise.
Roderich Hugh Aaron, 32, was arrested Wednesday after officers swept a Boise hotel. Police had recieved a report that prostitutes were operating out of the hotel, located in the 2600 block of Airport Way, and that some of the women appeared to be coerced.
Officers obtained a search warrant for several hotel rooms, and found evidence that Aaron was using threats and coercion against the women involved.
He was taken in for questioning Wednesday and booked into the Ada County Jail early Thursday morning. Aaron has been charged with four felonies: human trafficking, trafficking in prostitution, procurement of prostituion, and detention for prostitution.
But in court Thursday, Aaron's public defender argued the group was just in town for a family trip. Two of the women found at the hotel - Aaron's fiance and her friend - were in the courtroom to support Aaron.
Most of the charges stem from the alleged involvement of a third woman, referred to in court only as R.S. The defense attorney said she suffers from bipolar disorder.
If Aaron does make bail, he will be fitted with a GPS tracking device to ensure he does not leave town before his next court date. He is set for a preliminary hearing July 10.
Police say they have lined up support services, including safe shelter, for the women involved.
We know that it is not uncommon for people to be forced, manipulated and coerced into life as a prostitute, said Sgt. Mark Barnett of the Boise Police Criminal Investigation Division in a press release. Instead of criminals, these people may actually be victims of crimes, as we believe they are in this case.
He urged anyone who suspects a similar situation to immediately bring it to the attention of police.
If people are aware of this activity occurring, it s important they report it to law enforcement, Barnett said. There are many reasons that the victims themselves are often not able to come forward.