Jesse "King" Lewis Forced Homeless Women Into Prostitution
Today a 28-year-old Royal Palm Beach man will appear before a federal judge. According to prosecutors, Jesse Lewis was responsible for nothing less than a reign of terror involving sex-trafficked homeless women, running them out of Hollywood and Dania Beach motels. Dubbing himself "King" and demanding his women call him "Daddy," Lewis allegedly kept the women trapped by threat of force.
According to an affidavit filed in court by investigators, in June 2013, a 26-year-old woman ID'd only as "K.A." was hanging outside a Walgreens in Tampa when she was approached by Lewis and a woman identified only as Diamond.
When K.A. answered in the affirmative, the three went back to Lewis' Hampton Inn room. There, she snapped cell phone shots of the two women, then worked up online posts advertising sex for hire. K.A. witnessed Lewis beat Diamond, so she was scared to run.
No customers bit on the online ads, so the three packed up and headed for South Florida, eventually landing in a motel in Hollywood. From there, Lewis allegedly forced K.A. to have sex with about ten customers, each paying $80 to $150. All the money went to Lewis, who beat, choked, and threatened to burn the women with a hair iron.
When Diamond and Lewis got into an argument, the pimp took K.A. to a new hotel in Dania Beach. There they teamed with another woman, known as Lala. From there, K.A. was able to escape in late June 2013 and come to police with her story.
As they investigated the case, police were able to contact Diamond. Her story backed up K.A.'s account. "At the time of the interview," the affidavit reads," law enforcement observed severe bruising on Diamond's neck and throat, consistent with choking and/or strangulation. According to Diamond, Lewis had caused the bruising on her neck, but "that is nothing compared to what he has done in the past.''
Lewis, it turns out, was out on bond at the time for an arrest in Miami-Dade from March 2013. Those charges were also related to forcing a woman into prostitution. Eventually, Lewis was handed a year sentence on that charge. Before being released recently, he was arrested and charged in federal court due to K.A.'s allegations.
According to the Sun Sentinel, when Lewis was rearrested recently, he threatened police, "advising officers that word gets out, and that they should watch their backs."
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in South Florida.