Human Trafficking Victim Says Claremore Man Preyed On Vulnerability
A Green Country man faces pandering charges for inducing a woman into prostitution.
Oklahoma law now recognizes her to be a human trafficking victim. The woman said she escaped from Dennis Abercrombie in March and now has filed for a protective order against him.
Most think of human trafficking as a girl being kidnapped from the street and sold into sex slavery, but the reality is, most victims are women in desperate situations and meet a man who is kind and promises to take care of them. Instead, the man makes them prostitutes and takes the profits.
In this case, police said Abercrombie even forced the woman to sign a contract.
To protect her identity, we’ll refer to as “Kate” said that in December 2012, her husband had left her, her car didn't work and she didn't know how she was going to keep her house or support her two children.
She met Abercrombie, who said he was a chaplain and a church-goer, and he offered to help.
"He said his church could help me, get my car running again that he would help me,” Kate said.
After meeting Abercrombie, Kate said he offered her money if she'd go to a hotel. She said it was Christmas time and desperate and admits she made a bad decision.
"At that time, I needed to feel like someone cared," she said.
Kate said Abercrombie promised to take care of her and her kids, but, but he needed her to make money for him.
She said he had these business cards printed up of her, offering escort services, and he solicited dates fro her on CraigsList, bought her clothes, took her to clubs and gave her a client list and instructions.
She said he had her sign a one-year contract, which said if she backed out, she would owe him $3,000.
He claimed it was for her own good.
“It said a certain percentage would go into a savings account, and the savings account was supposed to be for my kids,” Kate said.
She said when she didn't go on dates and refused to meet clients, Abercrombie became frustrated.
“I was scared of him in January,” Kate said. “By March, I was terrified, no way out."
She said Abercrombie gave her cards and letters, which she turned over to police. Some say he loves her and wants to be with her forever and others threaten her if he ever catches her on the street.
With the help of a friend, Kate was finally able to get away from Abercrombie.
Abercrombie was arraigned Monday and has pleaded not guilty.
Day Spring Villa is the only women and children's shelter in the state certified to take in and help human trafficking victims.