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Illinois brothers charged with forcing Texas teen into prostitution

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CHICAGO (AP) – Two brothers are accused in Illinois of forcing a Texas teenager into prostitution and holding her against her will when she expressed a desire to return home, Cook County prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Eric Johnson, 29, is charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated battery. His brother, Jarvis Alexander, 25, is charged with promoting prostitution and several misdemeanor charges for his alleged participation in the scheme to sell the 17-year-old girl for sex.

The girl met Johnson online in February and he bought her a bus ticket to Memphis, Tennessee where he was living. Johnson had the girl perform sex acts for money, and brought the girl to Chicago, moving the girl into his brother’s apartment. Alexander took to girl to meet men for sex after placing ads on escort websites.

The brothers were arrested Friday when the auto they and the girl were riding in was stopped by police when they noticed Alexander wasn’t wearing a seat belt. A search of the auto turned up $3,000 in cash and an unspecified amount of marijuana. It was when the three were taken to a police station that officers learned the girl had been forced into prostitution.

“What we have here is one woman’s story,” Johnson’s assistant public defender said in court Tuesday.

Johnson was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail. Alexander is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond. Both brothers had addresses in Austin, according to court records.