Aide To GOP Lawmaker Arrested In Sex Trafficking Bust By Local Police

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA).Screengrab/KATC/YouTube

Jerod C. Prunty was arrested on Saturday following a 17-month investigation into human sex trafficking and prostitution.

According to The Advocate, Jerod C. Prunty, an aide to Congressman Clay Higgins (R-Louisiana) was arrested for pandering on Saturday. His arrest is related to eight other arrests connected to human sex trafficking, pandering, and prostitution. The charges relate to five Lafayette Parish massage parlors, according to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Higgins’ office issued a statement saying, "We are shocked and saddened to learn of allegations against Jerod. His arrest is deeply troubling. Jerod has been placed on administrative leave, pending investigation and adjudication."

In January 2018 Higgins cosponsored the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign Authorization Act of 2017. The legislation was designed to help victims of human trafficking.

In the February 13 raid, one woman picked up said that she was a victim of human sex trafficking. Another person arrested during the raid was charged with trafficking.

Xufang Ou, 33, 300 block of Guilbeau Road, Lafayette, was charged for human trafficking and four counts of pandering.

Prunty’s arrest occurred three days after the massage parlor arrests following the 17-month investigation.

John Mowell, the public information officer with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, said the case is still under investigation.

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