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Minor allegedly pressured into prostitution

A Kennewick man pleaded innocent Friday to pressuring a 15-year-old girl into prostitution.

Deepak Singh Samra, 19, who also is accused of second-degree assault and taking pictures of the girl naked, is being held in the Benton County jail in lieu of $250,000 bail. A trial is scheduled for Aug. 26.

The 15-year-old met Samra in April when she and a friend were visiting the home of a 14-year-old girl, according to court documents. Also staying at the apartment were Samra, Samra's 16-year-old girlfriend and the girlfriend's father.

Samra told the 15-year-old several times how pretty she was and that they could make money, the documents said. Samra's girlfriend also talked to her about prostitution.

The victim told Samra's girlfriend she did not want to do it, the documents said. However, she cooperated when Samra took pictures of her naked, saying that he was going to show them to people in Seattle.

The teen told police she cooperated because Samra and his girlfriend were "scary," the documents said.

In late May, Samra's girlfriend told the 15-year-old to do her a favor and knock on the apartment next door, the documents said. The teen did as she was asked and had sex with the man in the apartment, who gave her $60.

She gave the money to Samra's girlfriend, who gave $10 back to her and $40 to Samra, the documents said.

Samra's girlfriend later told police that the neighbor had sent a text message to Samra wanting sex, the documents said. The girlfriend pretended to be the 15-year-old and set up the encounter.

On June 12, the couple argued because Samra called his girlfriend stupid for not making enough money for setting up the prostitution, the documents said.

That same day, Samra's girlfriend and the 14-year-old who lived in the same home drove to the 15-year-old's house and told her she had money to make, the documents said. But the 15-year-old refused to get in the car.

That night Samra and the 14-year-old saw the 15-year-old at the 7-Eleven store at 3606 Clearwater Ave., where she had gone with two friends to buy Slurpees, the documents said. The 15-year-old tried to go back inside the store, but was punched by the 14-year-old.

Samra yelled for the 14-year-old to "knee her in the face," the documents said. The 14-year-old said Samra's girlfriend had told her to beat up the 15-year-old and that Samra would have told his girlfriend if she did not.

When police arrived at the 7-Eleven, they found the 15-year-old crying, with blood on her face. She was missing an earring, which was found on the ground where she was assaulted.

Samra's girlfriend was scheduled to appear in Benton County juvenile court Friday to be charged with promoting prostitution of a minor and second-degree assault.

-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; acary@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @HanfordNews

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