She thought she was going to Vegas to strike it rich, instead, an unidentified woman claims she was forced into sex work.
According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in January of 2017, the victim was contacted through Snapchat by her friend Wynter Fowler. Fowler told the woman that she was “pretty and could make a lot of money” if the woman agreed to move to Vegas with her and work as both an exotic dancer and as a prostitute.
The woman was initially apprehensive, but after Fowler sent photos of Versace handbags and other luxury goods she claimed to own, the victim was led to believe that Fowler made thousands of dollars a night and that she could too if she agreed to move to Vegas.
The financially strapped victim initially agreed to fly out and go along with Fowler’s plan. That all changed in February of 2017. The woman says she tried to leave, that’s when her life was threatened by Fowler’s boyfriend, Ezekiel Gilbert.
Gilbert is no stranger to the law and has even made headlines when in 2010 he shot and killed an escort in Texas.
According to various reports on the case, Gilbert had contacted Lenora Ivie Frago through a Craigslist ad and the pair agreed to meet. Gilbert gave the woman $150 for a half hour of her time. After those 30 minutes had passed, the woman gathered her things and went to meet with her driver. Gilbert was angry the woman never had sex with him and pulled out a gun, shooting and killing Frago as she and her driver attempted to flee.
In a controversial ruling, the judge determined that Gilbert was not guilty of any wrongdoing because the woman had technically been guilty of stealing his property – the sex he believed she owed him. Gilbert used his arsenal of guns and his past case as a means to intimidate the woman, allegedly telling her that he’s “already gotten away with murder.”
The victim attempted to go to the police about Gilbert and Fowler in February 2017 but says she was so afraid of what Gilbert may do that she declined to file a police report. It wouldn’t be until March that the woman finally worked up the courage to reach out to police again and tell them she was ready to talk.
Police were able to find texts on the woman’s phone from both Fowler and Gilbert encouraging her to contact clients through an escort site and others inquiring on the amount of money she had been making each night. This information was enough for law enforcement to secure a warrant.
After a search of Gilbert and Fowler’s home, police arrested the couple. Both have been charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.