LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The Las Vegas area ranks near the top in the nation when it comes to human trafficking, and it isn’t easy for victims to leave that life behind.
But one woman did and is now seeking justice.
Delquan Maurice Danford, 32, is wanted in Utah for aggravated human trafficking.
The case originated in Las Vegas, where a woman says she was forced to go into prostitution in both the strip and in Salt Lake City or risk losing her life and children.
“Las Vegas is definitely the human trafficking hub of the United States,” the woman, who we are not identifying, said.
Since her alleged trafficker remains at large, she hopes sharing her story will lead to his arrest.
“That is what my whole goal is, is just to make sure he’s just unable to hurt anybody else,” the woman said.
Court documents detail how 32-year-old Delquan Danford allegedly used violence to force her into prostitution.
Salt Lake County prosecutors charged him with aggravated human trafficking.
“He beat me up on a regular basis…pulled out guns on me. Did anything violent that you can think of,” she said.
The victim reportedly did try to leave.
Investigators say on one occasion in Las Vegas, she told him she was leaving. But Danford reportedly threw her across the room and against a wall, punching her repeatedly until she lost consciousness.
According to court documents, Danford sent her to Utah on a one-way ticket, not telling her how long she would be there.
“I kept telling him that I wanted to come home, and every time that I would tell him that I wanted to come home, he would put my kids on the phone and tell my daughters to tell me, that they were never going to see their mom again,” she said.
Detectives outline in charging documents that they used wire transfer receipts she kept to confirm her story. Those receipts showed she sent nearly $13,000 from December 2014 to May 2015, although she says she gave him much more than that.
“This was a very, very hard thing for me to go through, and I just hope that if somebody else is out there, and it’s happening to them, that they have enough courage to come forward as well,” she said.
Court records show Danford was previously arrested in Clark County last November in relation to prostitution.
But he took a plea deal, only receiving a disorderly conduct misdemeanor.