Man accused of kidnapping, trafficking girls held without bail

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Massachusetts man accused of holding three teenage girls against their will in Providence faced a judge Tuesday.

A judge ordered Derek Miranda held without bail on charges of sex trafficking and kidnapping. Miranda, 21, of Dorchester, is accused of enticing three girls – two 15 years old, one 14 – to go with him to Providence.

“I don’t think they realized where they were going before it was too late,” said Providence Police Major David Lapatin.

Lapatin said Miranda held them at a home on Cumerford Street for days, intending to prostitute them, before police got a break in the case.

“One of the girls was able to get a text message out,” said Lapatin. “Some sort of message to a friend, who notified the father, who notified the police.”

Police said they were able to track them down after another one of the girls escaped and alerted authorities.

A victim advocacy group says arrests of people like Miranda are happening more and more often.

“It’s a burgeoning problem in the state, and a burgeoning problem in the country,” said Amy Battersby of Day One.

Two of the girls were reunited with family, while the other is now in state custody.

“Physically they’re fine. Mentally, I can’t tell you that,” added Lapatin.

Providence police said Miranda could also face charges out of Massachusetts, as well as federal charges.

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