Cranston couple charged with forcing woman into prostitution

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — “GET ME OUT THE CAR” was the message written to police by the woman in the back seat during a traffic stop in Providence.

Rhode Island State Police troopers stopped the car at about 12:10 a.m. Wednesday because it didn’t have a front license plate, and wound up arresting a Cranston couple on kidnapping and sex trafficking charges.

As troopers spoke with Niesha L. Bessell and Michael Gomes, they noted the woman in the back seat was shaking and would not make eye contact with them. They said she then pulled out her cell phone and typed out the message to the troopers, who removed her from the car.

“This is a unique situation where a person was reaching out to us and utilized her cell phone to let us know she was in trouble,” Captain Christopher Dicomitis of the Rhode Island State Police said.

Amid shaking uncontrollably and crying, she told police she had previously been forced into prostitution by the couple, and that night she had been forcibly kidnapped.

The troopers transported all three back to the Lincoln Woods Barracks. Investigators learned the 24-year-old East Providence woman had been lured into meeting the couple when she was abducted. Police said she reportedly escaped from Bessell and Gomes “over a year ago” after having been forced to commit acts of prostitution.

Bessell, 29, and Gomes, 28, of 151 Narragansett Street, are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday night on charges of kidnapping, simple assault, trafficking of person for commercial sexual activity, and two counts of possession of a weapon other than a firearm – which police said was a knife longer than 3 inches.

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