Black Lives Matter Activist Accused of Trafficking 17-Year-Old Girl

A prominent Black Lives matter activist in St. Louis was arrested in April and faces charges of human trafficking and prostitution against a 17-year-old girl. The activist, Charles Wade, said in a statement that he was helping the girl, who he believed to be 20, obtain temporary housing.

Wade runs Operation Help or Hush, a charity that says it provides housing, food assistance and other forms of direct aid to both activists and local residents in general. Conservative news site The Daily Caller appears to have been the first to run a story about his arrest, but copies of the police report were also circulated on Twitter and on Love B Scott.

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The report says Wade was arrested during an undercover sting, after vice officers answered an ad on Backpage.com and met the girl at a hotel room, where she told him a half-hour session would be $100. When he identified himself as a police officer, the report says, she fled into a hallway. The police report says a man was observed “watching” the undercover officer as he entered the hotel room, and that after she was arrested, the woman identified him as “my manager.”

The report says that the woman told police during an interview that Wade posted the Backpage ads himself and collected the profits; she also claimed he told her, “You only have five months until you’re 18 so I’m not worried.”

Wade issued the statement on Twitter, where he said he was asked in April to “temporarily house, for under a week, a woman who I was told was 20 years old.” He says she was told she was awaiting a replacement ID card and some monthly benefits.

Wade also says in his statement that the woman was arrested for prostitution soon after he booked her into a hotel room. He didn’t directly address the allegations she apparently made in her interview, calling him her “manager.”

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“Hindsight is 20/20 and in my desire to help her as she was displaced, I did not protect myself,” Wade writes, “As I did not know her or her prior behavior other than substance abuse that I was told she had ‘kicked.’”

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The police report states that Wade was arrested with three phones, which police say they believe were used in “furthering criminal activity.”


Screenshot via Fox 2

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About the author

Anna Merlan

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.

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