(Memphis) Drugs, guns and money – it’s all out there for everyone to see on an accused pimp’s Facebook page. Patrick Cathey is accused of forcing a 17-year-old girl to sell her body for weeks and using a gun to make her do it.
Those who help victims of human trafficking say teens are being forced into prostitution every day here in Memphis and the problem is growing.
“So, you didn’t know he was up to no good?” asked Reporter Sabrina Hall.
“No, mam. I sure didn’t,” said Johnnie May Williams
Williams, 84, had no idea her grandson might be a pimp but had she been on his Facebook page, she might have figured it out real quick.
Cathey’s cover shot shows wads of cash. His other pics show guns, drugs and money. In his profile picture, he has no problem showing what his lifestyle is all about.
Police say they busted him Friday night, pimping out a girl at an East Memphis hotel. Detectives did an undercover operation and scoped out a 17-year-old selling herself for sex on www.backpage.com. When she got to the hotel room police say she confessed Cathey had been forcing her to sell herself for weeks. So far, she brought in $6,000 and he hadn’t given her a dime.
“Six thousand dollars? Maybe I better go prostitute,” laughed Cathey’s grandma.
May sound like a nice chunk of change but not for the victim and the price she has to pay.
“A lot are being taken against their will and being forced and used because they are able to control their mind,” said Grace Hilton-Young with A Bridge of Hope.
Hilton-Young is on the board of A Bridge of Hope, an organization that helps victims of the sex trade. She says pimps use drugs, alcohol and violence to control their girls. Police say Cathey used his gun to threaten the teenager every time she tried to get away.
“Pretty typical?” asked Sabrina Hall.
“That`s the norm right there,” said Hilton-Young.
Hilton-Young says Memphis needs a safe haven for victimized teens, who may need to run but right now have nowhere to go, “I think we would have more success stories and I think we would have more people trying to get free.”
Police say they found a gun in Cathey’s car so they also charged him with that, as well as aggravated assault, kidnapping and sex-trafficking.
His grandma says she can’t bail him out because his bond is set too high at $100,000.