Prosecutors filed formal charges against a Columbia couple yesterday [Tuesday] after allegedly getting a child with disabilities involved in sex trafficking.
Forty nine year old Renee Collins, a relative of the victim, is charged with sexual trafficking of a child and endangering the welfare of a child. Her boyfriend, William Thomas Jr. is charged with rape.
The investigation began in July of 2017, when police were called to the Welcome Inn on Providence Road in Columbia from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tip said the child was being left in hotel rooms with strange men.
The victim has cerebral palsy, autism, and deafness, in addition to a diminished mental capacity.
The child was taken into protective custody.
Neither suspect is in custody.