Women accuse defendant of sex trafficking, threatening to kill them


    Three women testified Johnny Ray Matlock forced them into prostitution and engaged in human trafficking while threatening to kill them if they didn't comply.

    That was part of the first day of testimony in Matlock's trial in Judge Raquel West's courtroom.

    Two women who were between 15 and 30 when they met Matlock testified about meeting him through social media.

    They told jurors Matlock would eventually bring the women to the Motel 6 off Interstate 10 in Beaumont and then threaten them with a gun while forcing them into prostitution by using the website Backpage.

    The final witness of the day said Matlock threatened to shoot her and drop her in a river if she didn't do as he demanded.

    One of the victims, 15 at the time, testified she worked for 5 days straight in March of 2016 before escaping.

    Another woman, in her late 20's at the time, said she worked for several weeks before she was finally dropped off at a gas station.

    Court resumes Wednesday morning at 9 during which a fourth woman is expected to testify.

    Matlock faces up to 25-years in prison if convicted.

    Prosecutors say this is the first human trafficking trial in Jefferson County.

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