Ferguson, Mo., activist Charles Wade, who has been a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement and is credited with co-founding the nonprofit Operation Help or Hush, was arrested in April and charged with human trafficking and prostitution.
According to the Daily Caller, Wade was arrested after an undercover officer answered a Backpage.com ad listing for a 23-year-old prostitute. When the officer arrived at the Howard Johnson in College Park, Md., on April 25, he learned that the girl was a 17-year-old who reportedly called Wade her "manager."
Wade, 33, has been charged with seven counts, including felonies for human trafficking. Wade was reportedly carrying three cellphones at the time of his arrest and used a passport to rent the room where the girl was staying, the Daily Caller reports.
"Someone that we had just started temporarily housing was involved in activities in the temporary housing we obtained for them outside of my knowledge that caused me to be arrested after they were as the person who booked, signed for, provided ID for, and paid for the room," Wade told the Daily Caller.
Wade then issued a statement on Twitter claiming that he was not prepared to talk about his arrest, but "conservative trolls" forced his hand.
"I was forced to make this statement before I was ready to because of ongoing efforts by Twitter 'trolls' to stop my work and the work of my organization," he wrote. "For the past two to three days, 'trolls' have been actively baiting conservative news outlets to report on my arrest, amongst other vindictive things that they are actively working on."
Wade added that he was merely trying to provide temporary housing for a "woman who I was told was 20 years old," he wrote in his statement.
"Hindsight is 20/20, and in my desire to help her as she was displaced, I did not protect myself," Wade wrote. "As I did not know her or her prior behavior other than substance abuse that I was told she had 'kicked.' "
If convicted, Wade could face up to 25 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Read more at the Daily Caller.