Man charged with sex trafficking teen girl in Battle Creek house

Posted at 3:08 PM, Nov 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 15:47:26-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A Battle Creek man is facing federal charges after investigators say he held an underage girl captive in a house while forcing her to have sex and consume hard drugs.

Michael Anthony Clayton is facing a list of charges including sex trafficking of a minor, production of child pornography and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

The charges stem from an investigation that was launched after the father of a 16-year-old girl called police to report that his daughter had texted the family several concerning messages. The girl reportedly asked her family to send police to a house on Lakeview Avenue in Battle Creek, saying she was there against her will and in fear for her life.

Michael Anthony Clayton (MDOC)

Police found the girl hiding in the basement when they responded.

When the girl was later interviewed by investigators, she told them that Clayton and two other men at the residence were forcing her to have sex with them and use cocaine while being kept at the house.  She said Clayton had a silver handgun that he would threaten her to use drugs with.

The girl also told detectives that at some point while she was being kept at the house, a man came over and paid Clayton $1,000 to have sex with her.

Because of information the young girl shared with investigators, they were able to find several videos that Clayton had posted to his Snapchat account.  Those videos allegedly showed him having sex with the girl, as well as with another underage girl.  They also found videos they believed were Clayton showing off two firearms and some cocaine.

Investigators say Clayton has several previous felony convictions for aggravated stalking, weapons violations and assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer.

Another man, Ramiro Ortiz Hernandez Jr., is also facing charges related to the investigation.  Investigators believe he participated in the alleged exploitation of the underage girls.

Clayton is expected back in court Friday for a preliminary hearing in the case.