Bail set for new child rape charges against accused sex trafficer

MOORHEAD - New charges were filed Wednesday against a Brooklyn Park man whose child prostitution case was dropped Monday when he was set for trial in Clay County District Court here.
Prince Antonio Dequante Jones

MOORHEAD – New charges were filed Wednesday against a Brooklyn Park man whose child prostitution case was dropped Monday when he was set for trial in Clay County District Court here.

Prince Antonio Dequante Jones, 25, is accused of raping the 13-year-old girl he and another woman allegedly brought here for sex with an undercover Moorhead police detective in June.

Jones was charged Wednesday in Clay County District Court with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct against a 13-year-old and first-degree sex trafficking, both felonies.

According to court documents filed with the charges:

The 13-year-old victim told a victim and witness coordinator that Jones and a woman, Eyeesha Hinton, brought her to Moorhead from Minneapolis in early June to work as a prostitute.

After Jones checked all three of them into a Moorhead hotel room, Jones had sex with the girl while Hinton slept in the other bed, the girl told the coordinator.

Earlier that day, June 11, a Moorhead detective found an ad on backpage.com advertising services with someone called “ms Kelly 21,” who agreed to meet him at the Super 8 Motel on July 11.

At the hotel, the victim answered the room door, identified herself as being 18, and said she was there to have sex with a man her sister arranged for her to meet.

The sister and the sister’s boyfriend were outside in the car, the victim told police, but when police tried to make contact with them, they took off.

The child victim then told the detective Hinton placed the ad online, along with a stranger’s photo. The girl was reported as a runaway from Brooklyn Park on May 5, court documents say.

When police tracked Jones down using GPS and the girl’s cellphone, he denied being in Minneapolis, saying he had an apartment on Page Drive in Fargo. But cellphone records showed Jones was in Minneapolis in the days leading up to his arrest, and he carried a driver’s license with a Brooklyn Park address.

Clay County prosecutor Pam Harris asked for $500,000 bail without conditions for Jones during his initial court appearance Wednesday. She said the severity of the charges made Jones a flight risk.

Past criminal convictions mean Jones faces almost 10 years in prison if he is convicted on the child rape and sex trafficking charges, Harris said. Prior convictions include being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Jones’ attorney, Steven Beitelspacher, asked for $50,000 in bail for Jones.

“There’s no general public safety concern here, except the concern noted to the alleged victim,” Beitelspacher said.

The girl was in the courthouse Monday as officers of the court assembled to begin proceedings when she disclosed that Jones had sex with her.

Judge Michael Fritz set Jones’ bail at $300,000 without conditions, and $150,00 on condition he have no contact with the victim, among other requirements.

“I do believe you represent a threat to the public safety in this matter,” Fritz said.

Hinton, 25, of Minneapolis, faces two counts of felony first-degree sex trafficking. She is next due in court Oct. 27.

Jones’ next court date is set for Oct. 24.