Spring Lake man charged with human trafficking

SPRING LAKE, N.C. -- Investigators say Robin Applewhite held three women against their will and forced them to perform sex acts for money.

Police charged the Spring Lake resident after a woman they say he held captive in his basement escaped and sought help at the main gates of Fort Bragg.

According to Spring Lake detectives, Applewhite picked up the victim in Fayetteville and took her back to his home where he provided her with illegal drugs and locked her in the basement with two other women.

During the confinement, Applewhite allegedly drove the victim to hotels in Charlotte and Raleigh and forced her to perform sexual acts for money. She escaped Wednesday after prying open the basement door and fleeing to the post gate.

When detectives searched Applewhite's home, they say they found two additional women in their early 20s living in the basement.

Applewhite was charged with human trafficking, second-degree kidnapping, and sexual servitude, and police say additional charges may come later. He was held at the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $250,000 bond.

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