Sex trafficking suspect once worked at YMCA in Smyrna
Kareem Wiggins (Photo from Rutherford Co. Sheriff's Office)
SMYRNA, TN (WSMV) -
We are learning more details about one of the men accused by police of being involved in a child sex trafficking ring in Murfreesboro.
Kareem Wiggins, 22, of 599 Cedar Bend in LaVergne, once worked at the YMCA in Smyrna and court filings reveal some of sex acts may have occurred near a recreational center.
Wiggins still has his place of employment listed as the YMCA in Smyrna on his Facebook page.
"Mr. Wiggins was employed with our North Rutherford YMCA for less than four months from May 30, 2012 to Sept. 12, 2012, at which time his employment was terminated," said Jessica Fain, YMCA of Middle Tennessee Communications Director.
Sources tell Channel 4 News at least two complaints were filed against Wiggins for making inappropriate sexual comments while working at the North Rutherford YMCA.
The investigation into the prostitution ring began in late January when one of the teenage prostitutes contacted police about Wiggins and Robert Wright, 26, of 1444 Jetter Way in Murfreesboro, allegedly placing ads on Backpage.com soliciting money for sex.
The teen said the men claim to be her protection as long as they get a ‘cut' of the cash. It turns out they were pimping out two other 16-year-olds, according to police.
Wiggins and Wright allegedly used different motels to try and keep a step ahead of police. According to court documents, some of the sex acts occurred within 1000 feet of a recreational center.
North Rutherford YMCA member Gretta Simon was shocked to hear that a former Y employee was involved in a prostitution ring.
"I hate to believe that. I don't want to believe that," Simon said. "The YMCA is such a wonderful place and Christian-based that it would be very regretful that someone who use to work here would engaged in such activity."
Murfreesboro police said the investigation is far from over. Detectives are trying to determine if there are more victims, or even more suspects.
YMCA officials said they do background checks on all their employees and there was nothing in Wiggins past that would have prevented him from being hired.
In the meantime, Wiggins and Wright are still behind bars facing multiple charges including statutory rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, and money laundering. They are scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Feb. 19.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.