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Four arrests in two Bend prostitution cases

By Barney Lerten
Published On: Dec 24 2013 11:41:27 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 24 2013 11:59:23 AM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Katie Higgins was at Wednesday's arraignment of Antron Phillips, arrested on charges or rape, compelling prostitution and endangering the welfare of a minor.

BEND, Ore. -

Four people were arrested at Bend motels this week in a pair of unrelated prostitution cases, one a 17-year-old Madras teen who police said was provided methamphetamine and “induced” to take part in sexual conduct with others for a fee, officers said.

The first case arose on Sunday, when police responded to a report of suspicious circumstances at the Marriott Townplace Suites, at 755 SW 13th St. Place, said Sgt. Dan Ritchie.

That sparked an investigation that two days later led officers to the Three Sisters Inn, at 721 NE Third Street, Ritchie said.

There, officers arrested Markita Roche, 21, of Portland, on prostitution charges after learned she had posted an “escort” ad on the Website “Backpage” and engaged in sexual conduct for a fee.

Roche was lodged at the Deschutes County Jail on a prostitution charge. A jail officer said she was released on her own recognizance, pending a Nov. 13 court date.

The other case came to light shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, when police responded to a reported domestic dispute at the Dunes Motel, at 1515 NE Third St., Ritchie said.

Officers found Antron Phillips, 31, of Eugene, and his girlfriend, Sheron Putney, 34, also of Eugene, were arguing at the motel.

A further investigation revealed that a 17-year-old Madras teen was with Phillips and that he “was inducing the teen to participate in sexual conduct with others for a fee,” Ritchie said in a news release.

Police also learned Phillips provided the teen with meth and allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with the girl, according to the sergeant.

Phillips remained held at the Bend jail on $155,000 bail Wednesday, facing charges of first-degree rape, promoting and compelling prostitution, delivering meth to a minor, endangering the welfare of a minor, meth possession and coercion.

Putney was lodged on an outstanding warrant out of Salem and conditionally released from jail Wednesday, pending a Nov. 12 court date. The Madras teen was lodged at the Deschutes County juvenile facility on an outstanding Jefferson County warrant.

Lt. Brian Kindel told NewsChannel 21 that while the cases were unrelated, coincidental and not part of any organized sting operation, "we hope to do more" prostitution arrests in the future, "as it clearly occurs here."

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