Man arrested for holding woman hostage, prostituting her

Damion Gunnells, 33, accused of holding woman hostage, forcing her to prostitute herself for money

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KFSM/Meredith) -- A man was arrested in Arkansas after keeping a woman hostage and forcing her to prostitute herself for money.

According to a police report, 33-year-old Damion Gunnells was renting a room at a Springdale, Arkansas motel when a witness suspected the woman was being held hostage.

Police caught Gunnells and a passenger attempting to leave the motel while the victim was hiding in a room.

The victim told police that Gunnells had been prostituting her in Lousiana, Texas and Arkansas.

She said Gunnells made her give him all of the money she received, and if she "behaved," she was allowed to smoke narcotics. She also told police that Gunnells threatened to hurt her or her family if she left.

The victim said that Gunnells had used violence against her in the past, and she did not want to be hurt again.

On Monday (Dec. 2), the victim tried to leave by sneaking to Gunnells vehicle to get her things and run away, but he caught her and dragged her by her hair back into the motel room, according to the police report.

While searching Gunnells vehicle, Springdale detectives found methamphetamine, amphetamines and two bags of marijuana. They also found a glass pipe with meth residue in it.

Gunnells denied the prostitution claims and said the victim was lying. He was arrested on Tuesday (Dec. 3) on charges of Trafficking of Persons, PCS with Purpose to Deliver/Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, False Imprisonment First Degree and Domestic Assault.

This investigation is still ongoing.

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