Authorities have busted up a sex-trafficking ring accused of forcing a 14-year-old girl to have sex with men throughout San Antonio and Corpus Christi.
Linked to the ring is former Spurs guard and four-time NBA All-Star Alvin Robertson.
Seven people allegedly are tied to the ring, including an R&B performer and a man charged with bribing an official at Kelly USA, a business park at the former air base.
Of the seven, Robertson — who played for the Spurs from 1984 to 1989 and was a one-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year — was the last to be arrested Friday, said Deputy Ino Badillo, a spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.
Robertson was arrested shortly after 4 p.m. in Bentonville, Ark., where he was to attend a basketball shooting clinic this weekend that featured him and former NBA player Ricky Pierce.
Lt. Jon Simpson of the Bentonville Police Department told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Robertson appeared shocked when arrested.
The girl, who’s now back with her parents in San Antonio, was kidnapped in March 2009 and forced into prostitution after running away from home, officials said.
She also was taken to Corpus Christi, where her captor allegedly forced her to dance at a topless club that now faces sanctions by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
The girl escaped March 30, 2009, from Leslie Roy Campbell, 49, and reported him to Corpus Christi police, opening an investigation here that lasted three months and culminated in Friday’s arrests by the Bexar County Human Trafficking Task Force, Badillo said.
The task force works with agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which investigates human trafficking of or by foreigners in the U.S., said Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of ICE in San Antonio.
Investigators found no unauthorized immigrants were involved, and the crimes appear to have occurred within Texas, resulting in state charges rather than federal.
Robertson is charged with trafficking of persons under 18 for prostitution, sexual assault of a child and sexual performance of a child, all felonies.
Badillo said Robertson is believed to have had sex with the girl, but also described Robertson as a “facilitator,” which means involved in forcing the girl into prostitution.
Three alleged “johns” were charged in the case with sexual assault of a child: Murtuza K. Bhavnagerwala, 36, Behzad Mehrinfar, 25, and Jack A. Zimmerle, 40.
Robertson’s girlfriend, Racquel McIntosh, 41, was charged with sexual performance of a child and trafficking of persons under 18 for prostitution.
Campbell was charged with sexual performance of a child, trafficking, sexual assault of a child and aggravated kidnapping.
Marques A. Callaway, 35, who performs “Southern R&B,” was charged with aggravated kidnapping.
Zimmerle, Callaway and Mehrinfar were released Friday after posting $75,000 bail each. The others remained jailed Friday night, including Campbell, who’s serving time in a Beeville prison on sexual assault of a child charges.
Last year, the San Antonio Express-News reported the girl ran away from home and was kidnapped by Campbell. He pleaded guilty to sexual assault earlier this month in Nueces County, officials said.
The girl escaped from Campbell’s Corpus Christi home while he was in the shower, flagged down a passing patrol car and reported that she’d been kidnapped and sexually assaulted for a week. She also told investigators Campbell gave her a fake ID and forced her to strip at Club Cheetah there.
Badillo said the task force then began investigating Robertson and the other suspects after the girl complained she was taken throughout Bexar County to have sex in exchange for money.
The strip club later sued the girl, her parents, Campbell and Corpus Christi police, claiming the business was “flimflammed” and its operators question the girl’s sequence of events that brought her to the club.
Before his arrest Friday, Zimmerle was facing trial in March on a charge of paying kickbacks to then-Kelly USA real estate manager Ray Crosby for favorable treatment on bids submitted by Enviro-Tech, a company Zimmerle helped operate.
Crosby pleaded guilty and is to testify against Zimmerle as part of his deal, First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg said.
Zimmerle maintains his innocence in both cases, said his lawyer, Jay Norton.
“I imagine (the new case) is going to delay the trial,” Norton said.