#minorsextrafficking | Man stopped at Mackinac Bridge charged with trafficking, teen victim found under blanket in car

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A Grand Rapids teen told police a man was “pimping her out” and he threatened her if she didn’t make him a specific amount of money each day, court records state.

The alleged abuse stopped this week when the alleged trafficker, 38-year-old Terrence Donte Clay, was stopped by police at the Mackinac Bridge and the 16-year-old was found hiding under a blanket in his vehicle.

Clay, of Comstock Park, was charged Wednesday, Nov. 23, with human trafficking at his arraignment stemming from a months-long investigation.

Police first became aware of Clay on Oct. 21 after receiving a complaint from the Kentwood Police Department regarding sex trafficking, a Kent County sheriff’s detective wrote in an affidavit of probable cause obtained by MLive/The Grand Rapids Press.

Police were initially told a missing 16-year-old Grand Rapids girl ran away from home and was being sex trafficked. Investigators located the alleged victim who identified Clay as the person who was “pimping her out,” the affidavit states.

The teen told police she met Clay at a park in Grand Rapids. She told him she was 18 years old when they first met, the affidavit states.

A few days later, the teen saw Clay at the same park again. She told police Clay provided her with food, clothing, and a place to stay – at a hotel room – for a few weeks.

RELATED: Police arrest man accused of trafficking Grand Rapids teen online

The teen said Clay told her she needed to make him $200 a day and threatened her if she didn’t make the money. Clay gave her a cellphone to track her location, police wrote in the affidavit.

Police searched the victim’s phone and found text messages from Clay instructing the victim how much to charge others for sexual acts. An advertisement depicting those amounts was posted online.

On Nov. 12, police discovered the victim was taken from her Grand Rapids home to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Police relayed information to authorities in Northern Michigan. A Mackinac Bridge Authority staff member spotted Clay driving and a person hiding under a blanket in the back seat.

The vehicle was stopped after crossing the bridge and Clay was arrested in Cheboygan County.

Clay is scheduled to appear in Grand Rapids’ 63rd District Court next on Dec. 7 for a probable cause conference. A preliminary examination is scheduled for Dec. 14.

On top of human trafficking, Clay is also charged with child sexually abusive activity, two counts of using a computer to commit a crime, and two counts of possession of child sexually abusive material.

As of Wednesday, Nov. 23, Clay remains lodged in the Kent County Jail on a $300,000 cash or surety bond. If Clay posts bond, District Judge Sara Smolenski ordered he not have contact with any children under the age of 18, including his own.

Clay was on parole at the time of the alleged offense for assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder stemming from a 2017 Kent County case, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.

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