A Federal Grand Jury indicted a Bay Area couple last week, charging the pair with conspiring to traffic teenage girls and force them to provide sex acts with customers in exchange for money and drugs.
According to United States Attorney Melinda Haag, Mahendar "Mike" Singh, 40, and his wife Helen Jean Singh, 22, were indicted on Dec. 1, alleging the couple recruited young girls and promised them money, drugs, and a family-like environment. They also used physical force and threats, fostering a climate of fear, according to the indictment.
"The defendants used an Internet website to advertise their victims and employed cellphones and text messaging to make arrangements with customers," Haag said in a statement.
Mahendar Singh was arraigned in a federal court in Oakland today where he pleaded not guilty. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Jan. 11.
Helen Singh is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.
The couple was arrested on Aug. 20, 2011 after the South San Francisco Police responded to a motel near the airport and found Mahendar Singh with a 19-year-old girl and two 16-year-old girls.
If convicted, they could face life in prison.
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