Woman accused of forcing girl into prostitution appears in court
HOUSTON – On Monday, A judge upgraded the charges against Denise Coronado, 19, and increased her bond to $100,000.
"She was charged with simply compelling prostitution. This charge upgrades that to compelling prostitution of a minor, which then becomes a first degree felony and carries a punishment of five to life," said prosecutor Joanne Musick.
According to Harris County prosecutors, the girl told authorities that she was kidnapped while she was walking down the street and was held in a wooded area for five days.
The girl said she was taken to a Houston motel, where she was introduced to Coronado. The girl said she was threatened and burned with a cigarette.
Coronado took a picture of the girl and advertised her for sex on Backpage.com, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said the girl was forced to have sex with more than 24 men within a week, before she escaped.
Prosecutors said the victim alerted two men at the motel and found access to a phone and Facebook to contact her family and escape.
The defense attorney said there are a lot of discrepancies in the case and Coronado may be a victim herself.
The attorney questioned the victim's actions.
"If she was kidnapped that when she left the first hotel that she went to another hotel with two other individuals, two other males and didn't go home," said defense attorney Joe Wells.
The prosecutor said they were searching for the man who first kidnapped the victim.
Investigators said the 14-year-old is back at home with her parents and getting help.
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