Victim forced into sex trade with threats to person and family

Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the TRAFFICKING OF PERSONS FOR SEXUAL SERVITUDE conviction, by a Fulton County Superior Court Jury, of 25-year-old DERRICK MANUEL.

On September 1, 2018, Derrick Manuel threatened to riddle the house of a 20-year-old acquaintance with gunfire and to kill the woman and her family if she did not comply with his demands. Out of fear for her life, the victim obliged and accompanied the defendant to his residence along Mount Gilead Road SW in Atlanta. When Manuel and the 20-year-old victim arrived at his home, the defendant forced the victim inside. Manuel demanded that she allow him to engage in sexual intercourse with her, at which point, the defendant proceeded to forcefully remove the victim’s pants. 

The 20-year-old victim refused Manuel’s advances, so the defendant began to violently choke the victim until she lost consciousness. When the victim awoke, Manuel asked if she was going to follow directions. The defendant then forced her to perform oral sex upon him. Afterward, Manuel told the victim to change her clothes. Once the victim was dressed, the defendant proceeded to drive her to a truck stop along Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in Southwest Atlanta. Manuel demanded the 20-year-old victim enter the truck stop and solicit male customers for sex. The defendant set the prices at $40 for oral sex, $125 for 30 minutes of vaginal sex, and $200 for one hour of vaginal sex. At least one “John” propositioned the victim while inside the truck stop, but she refused to accompany the man to his vehicle.

Manuel then drove the victim to a service station along Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway and forced her to drink alcohol before soliciting “Johns” for sex. The victim did not secure any customers per the defendant’s demands so he threatened to “beat her a$#.” The victim eventually entered the vehicle of an interested “John,” but during the ride, the victim asked to be let out of the vehicle and she returned to Manuel’s car, who was following behind. Manuel’s agitation grew, and the defendant told the victim she had to “make him some money” or suffer the consequences. When the victim did not solicit any other “Johns” the defendant forced the victim back into his vehicle and he drove her to a wooded park. The victim fell asleep but was awakened when Manuel fired his weapon outside of his vehicle and began to yell at her. The defendant told the victim that he had killed two other women and dumped their bodies in the park, and she and her family would suffer the same fate if she did not try harder. The victim agreed to do so the following day; however, the victim managed to escape when Manuel allowed her to attend church on September 2, 2018, due to fear that friends and family would worry if she was not in attendance. On October 3, 2018, Manuel was arrested by the Atlanta Police Department Fugitive Squad. Following his arrest, the defendant continued to contact the victim from jail in an attempt to force her to sign an affidavit stating she did not tell the truth. Manuel has (7) prior arrests.

MANUEL was convicted of TRAFFICKING OF PERSONS FOR SEXUAL SERVITUDE, AGGRAVATED SODOMY, TERRORISTIC THREATS, FALSE IMPRISONMENT, PANDERING BY COMPULSION, PIMPING, OBSTRUCTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT, and SIMPLE BATTERY.

MANUEL was sentenced to
Life in Prison to Serve 40 Years with the Remainder of His Life on Probation

Judge Kelly Lee Ellerbe, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, presided over the case. Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney Earnelle Winfrey, of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office Human Trafficking Unit, led the prosecution of the case. She was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Julianna Peterson, Senior Investigator Catherine Dillard, and Victim-Witness-Advocate Kelsey Lindsey of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Investigator V. Flores from the Atlanta Police Department was the lead investigator in the case.