Prominent Black Lives Matter activist Charles Wade, who is also credited with co-founding the non-profit Operation Help or Hush, was arrested in April and charged with human trafficking and prostitution. He has denied the allegations, claiming that he was simply trying to help find a young woman somewhere to live.
As reported by the Daily Caller, the 33-year-old Wade was arrested after an undercover police officer answered an ad on a website called Backpage for a 23-year-old prostitute.
When the officer arrived to meet in College Park, Maryland, he learned that the girl in question was in fact 17 years of age and reportedly called Wade her "manager."
Wade was arrested and has since been charged with seven counts, including felonies for human trafficking. At the time of his arrest, Wade was reportedly carrying three cell phones and had used a passport to rent the room where the girl was staying.
"Someone that we had just started temporarily housing was involved in activities in the temporary housing we obtained for them outside of my knowledge that caused me to be arrested after they were as the person who booked, signed for, provided ID for and paid for the room," Wade told the Daily Caller.
Wade added that he was simply trying to find housing for a "woman who I was told was 20 years old," he said in a statement that he released after "conservative trolls" forced his hand.
Wade wrote, "I was forced to make this statement before I was ready because of ongoing efforts by Twitter 'trolls' to stop my work and the word of my organization." He added, "For the past two to three days, 'trolls' have been actively baiting conservative news outlets to report on my arrest, amongst other vindictive things that they are actively working on."
Wade has maintained his innocence and has remained active on Twitter, responding to users' questions and retweeting words of support.
It is hard. But I'm ok and will be ok. Thank you ❤️ https://t.co/jYwMiDPFly— He/Him/His (@akacharleswade) May 19, 2016
I know how grimy people can be. I've also worked with @akacharleswade last summer. He's more than a tweeter and I believe his story.— noname chomsky (@jer_collins) May 18, 2016
Wade added that he was simply trying to help a young woman in need and "did not know her or her prior behavior other than substance abuse that I was told she had 'kicked,'" he said.
If convicted, Wade could face up to 25 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
(Photo: MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS)
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