Knoxville man arrested for human trafficking

Knoxville man arrested for human trafficking

Posted:
Marcus Washington (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Marcus Washington (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Kristina Cohen (Knox County Sheriff's Office) Kristina Cohen (Knox County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville man was arrested earlier this week for human trafficking after an investigation into escorts for hire on the website backpage.com.

Marcus Douglas Washington, 36, was arrested Wednesday on drug charges and promoting prostitution. Human trafficking charges were filed Friday morning, which carry a $50,000 bond.

An undercover detective with the Knox County Sheriff's Office Vice Unit placed a call to a phone number listed on the site, and set up an appointment with Kristina Cohen, 26, at the Red Roof Inn, 209 Advantage Place.

The detective met Cohen and made a verbal contract for an hour's worth of sexual favors for $160.

Cohen was then taken into custody and identified Washington as the one responsible for setting up the appointment, advertising her on the website, and texting the detective.

According to warrants, Cohen had bruises and had suffered previous severe injuries from Washington. She also said Washington had threatened her and her family.

Detectives found Washington in Cohen's car parked in the motel's parking lot. $630 in cash, two cell phones and a prescription bottle for oxycodone were found. The bottle had been filled the day before for 90 pills, but now only contained 39.

Detectives also found two crack rocks and half an oxycodone pill in his pocket.

Washington is being held on a total $64,000 bond. He has an extensive criminal history in Knox County of drug charges, assault, domestic assault, public intoxication and theft.

Cohen was charged with promoting prostitution and is being held on $1,000 bond. She is also wanted in Roane County for violation of probation.

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