It was last September and she was on her own for the first time in her life. A teenage runaway, she met a man in metro St. Louis who promised her protection. More than that, he offered to make her what he called his "Queen Bee" -- a.k.a. the top prostitute in his harem.
His name is Melvin Moore
, a two-bit pimp from the suburban fringe of St. Peters, who prosecutors say enslaved the girl for the sole purpose of making him money. Moore took photos of the girl, posted the pics in Internet advertisements and then gave her a cell phone to book clients.
Under Moore's instruction, the girl was to charge $250 an hour for house calls. If the johns came to her -- in a rented hotel room -- the charge was a discounted $225 per hour.
The girl would prostitute herself a total of ten times -- earning her pimp about two grand -- before authorities caught wind of the scheme and busted Moore last fall.
In December the 27-year-old pleaded guilty to a felony count of prostitution and this week he was sentenced to 46 months in prison -- long enough, one suspects, for Moore to feel the sting of being someone's