MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. - A suburban Detroit couple has been sentenced after authorities say they hired out a woman with physical and mental disabilities for sex while forcing her to live in a shed.
Michael Welch, 40, and Misty George, 32, of Macomb Township were charged in 2017 with human trafficking and prostitution-related counts. He was sentenced Thursday to 5 to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges including human trafficking.
George pleaded no contest to human trafficking and had agreed to testify against Welch. She was sentenced to five years of probation, with credit for more than a year in jail.
Authorities say they advertised the woman online while forcing her to live in a shed after she was unable to pay them rent. Relatives of the victim eventually contacted police.
Welch and George were arrested in October 2017 after an anonymous tip leading investigators to the Westbridge Manor mobile home park near 21 Mile Road and Heydenreich.
According to the sheriff, the two set up date advertisements for the victim online and several men responded and paid money to the suspects for sexual services of the victim.
The victim was originally allowed to stay within the home and was eventually moved to the shed after she could not afford to pay the rent that the suspects demanded. The victim was not allowed in the home to use the restroom or shower.
Once the victim left the mobile home park, family discovered what had occurred and contacted authorities, deputies said.
After being arraigned in 2017, Welch tried to escape on foot but deputies chased him down.
Neighbors told FOX 2 that they had no idea that the two were keeping the woman in the shed.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.