A Boise man and woman have been hit with more charges from an Ada County grand jury following their arrest for human trafficking. Prosecutors say the couple "manipulated as many as a dozen Treasure Valley women into prostitution over the last year."
44-year-old Derrick Hicklen and 28-year-old Gypsie Lee Akers were arrested Nov. 6 and since their incarceration, Boise Police and Ada County Sheriff's deputies say they have identified and talked to more victims, resulting in new charges.
“This is ‘textbook’ human trafficking,” said Ada County Sheriff’s Detective Ryan Pacheco. “[Hicklen and Akers] very methodically found out what the vulnerabilities were for these women and manipulated them into doing things they wouldn’t normally do. We never set out to charge any of these women—we’ve said all along we consider them victims. We’ve found several. We know there are more out there, and we want to help.”
An Ada County grand jury indicted the pair on numerous felony crimes earlier this week, including human trafficking, procurement and receiving pay for procurement of prostitution, and compelling another person to engage in prostitution by holding, detaining or restraining. Hicklen is also charged with rape and video voyeurism. Akers is also charged with accepting the earnings from a prostitute as a joint venture.
Investigators say the pair posted prostitution ads on online classified webpages without telling the victims—and kept the women in hotel rooms for long periods of time.
The couple is set to appear Thursday, Dec. 5, in front of 4th District Judge Lynn Norton. If they plead not guilty, a jury trial will be set for early next year.
The crime of human trafficking is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. The procurement charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.