SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – They lived in a world of sex, drugs and fear.
But the two women never imagined it would them seeking protection from law enforcement.
It eventually led to human trafficking and aggravated kidnapping charges against Jeffrey F. Porter. He was charged in October and in testimony during a preliminary hearing two women describe the violence they endured with Porter.
“People don’t mess with him because he’s about business,” said L.P. whose name will not be released.
She already worked the streets of Salt Lake City as a prostitute but she was attracted to Porter because he could supply her with drugs. So a deal was struck. L.P. said she made money for him and she got the drugs she needed to feed her addiction. That’s how T.J. also came to know Porter.
“Commercial sex I guess is what you would call it,” said T.J. “I have to hit the block and hit a move. I would give it (money) to him.”
That’s how both women struck a relationship with Porter. They said he was a big man and could become aggressive.
“At the time I didn’t really care because I was high,” said L.P.
But over time it became worse. Yet they felt trapped.
“Yeah I had a choice (but there were) consequences,” said T.J. “But [having] an active addiction, I chose to go [back on the streets for him].”
The two women said the violence got worse and claimed Porter had a gun which he used to enforce things.
“We were packing our stuff up to leave and he came in the car, hit the curb, and shot in the air,” said L.P. “It was the first time I had been shot at.”
Another time, they claimed Porter got angry because he couldn’t find his drugs. He blamed the two women who were at his place.
“I got strip-searched,” said T.J. “Basically took off every article of clothes in front of her (L.P.) and it happened so quickly. That’s when he got so angry and he hit me with a metal bar.”
L.P. said she also went through the same treatment with Porter.
“He stripped me and we was naked and beat us with a crowbar [sic],” she said. “Not a crowbar exactly but a metal bar.”
L.P. said Porter eventually found the drugs in his room. They were completely innocent, but it appeared all was forgiven and L.P. said he shared the drugs with them.
“People would warn me all the time ‘oh he’s crazy,” said L.P. “I would say oh no, he’s cool. (But) I slowly started to see the dangerous, crazy side.
After being struck with the metal bar, the two women left Porter for the final time. They had had enough. They reached out to an advocate, who eventually led them to police.
He was bound over for trial but his attorney now wants the case dismissed. A motion was filed claiming they violated a court order.
According to court documents, the two women were seen talking to each other following their testimony. Prior to taking the stand, the judge ordered each witness not to talk with each other.
A hearing to argue the dismissal motion is scheduled Monday, February 24.
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