Former death row inmate slammed with more sex trafficking charges

Former death row inmate slammed with more sex trafficking charges
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former Delaware death row inmate accused of traveling to Hawaii to develop a major prostitution ring was indicted Thursday on several additional charges related to human trafficking.

Isaiah McCoy and his wife, Tawana Roberts, were initially charged with bringing one woman to Hawaii against her will to work as a prostitute. After bail for McCoy was denied, ensuring that he would be kept behind bars while awaiting trial, prosecutors were able to secure the testimony of six other woman who claimed they were also victims.

Roberts is not named in any of the new charges. McCoy now faces seven counts of sex trafficking by force, threats, fraud or coercion.

Late last month, McCoy asked to defend himself pro se in further court proceedings related to the case. His public defender filed a motion for withdrawal of counsel last week, citing a breakdown of the attorney-client relationship.

A magistrate judge would still need to approve the motion.

McCoy and Roberts were arrested on Jan. 3 by Honolulu police in an undercover prostitution sting at a Waikiki hotel. According to HPD documents obtained by Hawaii News Now, Roberts agreed to take $500 from an undercover officer in exchange for sex acts.

At the time of his arrest, McCoy had been in Hawaii less than a year. He moved to Oahu shortly after his Delaware murder conviction was overturned and married Roberts, a food service specialist at Schofield Barracks, a few months ago.

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