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Arizona man charged in Minot human trafficking case

MINOT, N.D. – A 22-year-old Arizona man is charged with human trafficking and other offenses after a woman reported she was held captive in a Minot hotel for a week and violently assaulted.

Antoine William Dotson of Tucson is accused of forcing his girlfriend into prostitution, telling her he heard there was a lot of money to be made from North Dakota oilfield workers, court records say.

Minot police arrested Dotson early Sunday after the woman called 911 from a south Minot hotel after he left the room to pay the hotel fee, the first time she’d been left alone in a week.

In addition to human trafficking, a Class A felony, Dotson is charged in Ward County District Court with gross sexual imposition, a Class AA felony, and aggravated assault and terrorizing, both Class C felonies.

Court records say the woman told police she and Dotson met in Arizona, and after about a week he needed money and forced her into prostitution. They had been in North Dakota for two weeks, spending a week in Bismarck before arriving in Minot.

The woman said she and Dotson set up ads on Backpage.com and she had to give all of the money from the sexual encounters to Dotson. The woman reported that Dotson got abusive after she refused to put an ad on Backpage and when she tried to leave.

Officers noted in documents filed in court that the woman had bruises on her face and body and burst blood vessels in her eyes, a sign of strangulation. The woman reported that Dotson physically assaulted her, raped her and threatened to kill her. He also allegedly threatened to burn her with the hotel iron and officers noted that the iron was on the floor near the bed.

Dotson left the hotel before officers arrived, but police located him in the area and arrested him Sunday following a short foot pursuit, Minot police said in a news release.

The woman, 24, was treated at Trinity Health for her injuries, police said.

Dotson is being held in the Ward County Jail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6.

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