ELKHART — A Mishawaka woman is accused of prostituting a teenager and a woman with a developmental disability following an investigation by Indiana State Police.
Rickia Oliver, 21, faces two counts of promoting prostitution, a Level 5 felony. The charge carries a penalty of up to six years in prison if convicted.
Charging information was filed Thursday in Elkhart County Superior Court 2, based on an investigation by the Indiana State Police in 2018. Police allegedly found Oliver with the two women at a hotel north of Elkhart in March 2018.
According to court documents:
Officers with Indiana State Police District 24 and the Elkhart County Intelligence and Covert Enforcement unit conducted a human trafficking operation at a hotel on Northpointe Boulevard. An ISP detective had arranged a meeting on March 22, 2018, after seeing an advertisement on the internet containing a phone number and three photos of a woman in various stages of undress.
The detective texted the phone number and exchanged a few messages with a woman, saying he needed a “date.” The woman gave him some prices for services and they arranged a time and place to meet.
Officers set up a surveillance position outside the hotel room and saw a vehicle arrive with three woman inside. The woman from the texts then went into the hotel room where the officer was waiting and she offered to trade sex for money.
Other officers then entered the room and took the woman into custody. Officers also approached the vehicle and had the two occupants identify themselves.
One was a 17-year-old girl and the other was Oliver. Officers noticed that the teen girl and the woman who went into the hotel room both had a tattoo on their wrist that said “Rickia.”
The teenager told police that she was Oliver’s girlfriend and the other woman had been sleeping on the couch at their apartment. She said the third woman and Oliver made a plan to post ads online and have the woman trade sex for money, and then hand over to Oliver everything she was paid.
The woman told police that she had a learning disability and was diagnosed as having the maturity level of a 10-year-old. She said Oliver arranged a date for her and that Oliver responded to messages that came in from the ad because she didn’t know what to say.
She said she loved Oliver and thought she was in a relationship with her, but didn’t want to sell herself.
Oliver told police that the woman was “really slow” and had been sleeping on her couch. She said she told the woman that she “needed to start helping out,” and that she had someone else set up the online escort ad.
Oliver said the plan was that after the “serve” that had been arranged, the woman was to “break bread,” meaning she would give Oliver half the money she received.