Maryland woman faces more than 100 charges in prostitution ring

Prosecutors said a Maryland woman preyed on those suffering from drug addictions and coerced them to perform sex acts as part of her prostitution ring.

Kenika Danielle Leach, of Baltimore, is accused of controlling the women’s access to drugs, which prosecutors said created a “drug debt” that the victims were forced to repay by engaging in commercial sex acts with men at hotels and motels in the Baltimore and Anne Arundel county areas.

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office said the investigation into Leach’s activities started in 2021, after a local hospital notified Baltimore County police that a patient told them that she was a victim of sex trafficking.

A two-year investigation — which included going through large amounts of cell phone, social media and financial records — found at least 10 other victims, all from Hagerstown, Maryland, who were allegedly trafficked by Leach and her criminal organization, which sometimes advertised itself as the “Pussy Kat Klub,” a Maryland Attorney General’s Office news release said.

How prosecutors said Leach exploited the victims’ vulnerability

“Sex trafficking is a horrific crime that often preys on people struggling with the disease of drug addiction, exploiting their dependency to coerce and control them,” Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown said in a statement.

Prosecutors said that Leach knew each of the women were experiencing drug addiction. She gave them drugs and controlled and restricted their access to drugs in order to force them to perform sex acts

Court documents said that created a dynamic in which the women became indebted to Leach for a “drug debt” that they then repaid by “engaging in commercial sex acts” and the money they earned from it would then be paid directly to Leach though Cash App.

Moreover, prosecutors said Leach also used physical violence, intimidation and manipulation to make the women obey her.

“The lasting harm to survivors is profound — it’s physically and psychologically traumatic and shatters their sense of security and self-worth,” Brown said.

Leach’s indictment includes charges of managing a criminal organization and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, coercion or fraud. She is being held without bond, and her next court appearance is scheduled June 24 in Washington County Circuit Court.

WTOP reached out to the Washington County Public Defenders’ Office for comment.

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report. 

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Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin joined WTOP in 2021 as an anchor/reporter covering breaking news in the D.C. region. She has loved radio since she was a child and is thrilled to now be part of Washington’s top radio news station.

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