A north Baton Rouge strip club operator was arrested Wednesday after investigators said he auditioned a 16-year-old girl as a dancer and told her to lie about her age.
Trudell Richardson, 39, was the latest arrest in an incident several weeks ago when police found a runaway teen sleeping in an unmarked strip club at 3773 Plank Road.
Baton Rouge police arrested Kaylenceyia Carter on March 26, alleging she brought the victim to the club for an audition despite her age, according to an arrest warrant.
On March 21, the victim met Richardson in the club parking lot, where she told him she was 16, police said. He told her to say she was 21 if anyone asked, the warrant says.
Richardson, who goes by the nickname “Squalee Pope,” told the victim that he would introduce her to the “money guys” and that she must give half her earnings to the club.
Carter, 19, then took the victim inside to the dressing room to prepare, police said.
Soon after, Carter and the victim danced for Richardson and several unidentified men, who threw approximately $300 in tips at them, the warrant says.
Police received a report several hours later that the victim had been beaten. They found her sleeping half-naked in a back room, the warrant says. Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said it’s unclear who called police and who beat her.
Five days later, she told detectives how she happened to be at the club, setting off the search for Richardson and Carter.
On Wednesday, investigators received a tip that Richardson was staying at a house at 2777 Larkspur Ave., McKneely said.
When police knocked on the door that day between noon and 1 p.m., resident Walter Brooks answered and told them Richardson was not there.
Richardson then tried to run from the house and was arrested, McKneely said.
Richardson was booked into Parish Prison on counts of trafficking a child for sexual purposes and indecent behavior with a juvenile. Bail was not set yet.
As of Wednesday evening, Carter remained in Parish Prison on the same counts. A judge set her bail at $200,000, booking records show.
Brooks was booked into Parish Prison on counts of accessory after the fact to trafficking of children for sexual purposes. No bail was set yet.
Follow Matt McKinney on Twitter, @Mmckinne17.