ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Investigators said an accused sex trafficker has been trying to recruit new girls from inside a women's prison.
Letters that WFTV reporter Karla Ray obtained show the man was very specific about how he allegedly ran his illegal business.
As 75-year-old Richard Rawls sat zip-tied in his driveway in September, one of his assumed victims was being led out of his Washington Shores Home.
The letters describe how women were recruited to work as prostitutes from inside the women's prison in Ocala.
In February, he allegedly wrote to one inmate, saying, "I don't allow anyone to work OBT and I don't ask too much. Respect and loyalty."
Records show he went on to write, "I gave up blazing the trail long ago when money became chump change, as well as my people got to turn five, six tricks before making $100."
"How many women did you have in that house, about 25?" asked Ray.
"Yea," said Rawls.
Investigators said Rawls would put money in the inmate's accounts to buy snacks and make phone calls. Authorities said he would also be there to take the women to his home when their sentences were complete.
The letters also state, "I see you as my future woman, my bottom b****," threatening if the woman ever left him, he would "Damn sure come looking for her and find her."
However, Rawls denied that to WFTV as he was being taken to jail.
"Did you beat them when they tried to leave?" Ray asked.
"No," said Rawls.
"Investigators are saying you're a hard-core pimp."
"Well, they're wrong," he said.
If convicted, the earliest Rawls would get out of prison is when he's 90 years old.
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