A South Los Angeles woman who calls herself “Pretty Hoe” on social media pleaded guilty Monday to allegations of recruiting victims, including minors, for commercial sex trafficking, as well as abuse that included beatings, threats and forcing one victim to get a tattoo of the pimp’s name on her face, authorities said.
Melanie Denae WIlliams, 23, referred to herself as “The Most Hated Hoe in L.A.” through her prolific social media presence, which she also used to target victims, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Ciaran McEvoy said in a written statement.
She faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a federal charge of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, officials said. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 28 in federal court in Los Angeles.
Williams used violence to keep control of her victims, prosecutors said.
“In one incident detailed in court documents, Williams ordered the victim to strip off her clothes, then Williams threw bleach on her and beat her with hands and a broomstick,” McEvoy said. “Williams also forced the victim to get Williams’ name tattooed on her face, confiscated the victim’s belongings and identity documents and continually threatened to kill the victim if she left Williams.”
Williams admitted using the internet to recruit two minors into commercial sex acts, McEvoy said. “Williams also posted social media video of her beating and using firearms to threaten young women.”
The FBI, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County SHeriff’s Department and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office teamed up to investigate the case, officials said.