Alford

Alford

A Gainesville woman accused of sex trafficking a 16-year-old girl turned herself in Thursday morning.

Shawntorria Cortez Alford, 27, was identified as a suspect Tuesday in a human trafficking case police have been investigating for nearly two months, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Art Forgey said at a press conference Thursday.

Deputies received calls of suspicious activity at Scottish Inns, located at 4341 SW 13th St., in September and found the victim alone with a man unrelated to her in a hotel room. Forgey said it’s believed the victim and Alford became friends before the act.

Alford, whose street name is “Tink,” would have taken the victim in, providing her with food, shelter and money before pushing her to perform sexual acts with individuals, Forgey said. Deputies are still figuring out how long Alford had trafficked the victim.

Alford turned herself in Thursday morning after hearing investigators with a search warrant had stopped at a location she frequents looking for her, Forgey said.

“We’re just glad that before it went on any longer we could get it stopped,” he said.

As of press time, Alford remains in the Alachua County Jail in lieu of a $2.2 million bond on charges of engaging human trafficking of a child under 18 years old, procurement for prostitution and interfering with custody of a minor.

Her first court appearance is Friday morning.

ACSO is only aware of one victim currently but is prepared to hear of others coming forward now that Alford is in custody. Forgey said human and sex trafficking isn’t a frequent crime in Alachua County, but it does happen.

“One case of it is one case too many,” he said.

Staff Writer

David Hoffman covers crime and metro for The Alligator. A rising UF history and economics senior, the 21-year-old lives and breathes for classy Parks and Recreation references and watching live performances of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on YouTube.