CINCINNATI — A man pleaded guilty Friday to locking multiple women in his Cincinnati home and forcing them into prostitution.
Christopher Hisle, 45, was arrested on April 8, 2014, in Louisville, Kentucky after authorities said he drove a young woman from Cincinnati to Louisville to engage in prostitution at a nearby Red Roof Inn.
An FBI investigation later revealed Hisle was involved in forcing and compelling the women to engage in commercial sex for at least two years. He held the women at his Avondale home at 908 Lexington Ave., documents state .
It is unknown how many women Hisle held at one time and what their ages were. Authorities said at least 12 women are victims of his human trafficking operation.
Hisle pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Friday to a four-count federal indictment including one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, two counts of enticing a person to travel in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution and one count of interstate transportation for the purpose of prostitution.
Federal agents said Hisle physically assaulted several of his victims, including striking one of the women in the face when she threatened to run away.
Authorities said Hisle locked the women in his house by boarding and locking all the doors and windows. Only the front door was capable of opening, and only Hisle had the key, agents said.
The door locked on both sides, allowing Hisle to lock the women in the house when he left, investigators said. On one occasion, a young woman escaped, only to be found and brought back to the house by Hisle, according to documents.
“This defendant preyed on vulnerable young victims and cruelly exploited them for his profit,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta said.
Documents state Hisle created escort advertisements for some of the women and directed one of them to post the advertisements on websites like Backpage.com.
A neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, said she saw women "coming and going" from Hisle's home and she never believed anything out of the ordinary was happening there.
The neighbor said she sometimes saw Hisle daily. She said other times there would be no sign of him for long periods.
"How could somebody do that?" the neighbor said. "How could another human being inflict what they want on somebody else with no remorse?"
Sex trafficking is a crime that victimizes people in a highly personal manner, FBI Special Agent in Charge Howard S. Marshall said.
He said victims often feel as if they have no options and no hope.
“Detecting sex trafficking is essential to stopping it,” Marshall said. “The FBI works with state and local partners to uncover this heinous crime.”
Hisle faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. His sentencing is set for Feb. 9, 2015 in Louisville.
As part of his plea agreement , Hisle will pay restitution to 12 women identified as victims of his crimes. FBI agents also confiscated several items owned by Hisle, including a silver “Rolex” watch, a Croton blue-faced silver and gold-colored watch, an eight-link bracelet with eight clear stones and a gold-colored ring with nine clear stones.
A similar case in Ohio made headlines in May 2013 when police arrested 53-year-old Ariel Castro for imprisoning three women -- Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus -- in his Cleveland home and subjecting them to rapes and beatings for a decade.
Berry escaped from the home on May 6, 2013 and managed to contact police. Responding officers rescued Knight and DeJesus and arrested Castro hours later.
Castro committed suicide in prison on Sept. 3.
WCPO reporter John Genovese contributed to this report.