A BUST? Accused Midwest Sex Ring Leader Charged By DAVID RUNK DETROIT (AP) - With promises of making money selling jewelry on the streets of Midwestern cities, a 32-year-old Chicago man drew women and girls into a multistate prostitution ring that operated like a cult,authorities said. Henry Davis allegedly used sexual assault, beatings and threats to keep the women and girls - many of them runaways or estranged from their families - under his control. The ring, involving girls as young as 13, may have been operating since 1995. ``This guy picked his targets,'' Detroit Police Cmdr. Gerard Simon said Thursday. ``Young girls who(were) unsure of themselves, were runaways, didn't have a place to go.'' It was a 17-year-old girl, who police say was abducted Jan. 9 from a Cleveland bus stop, that helped authorities break up the ring. Prosecutors say she was taken to Chicago and Detroit and raped before seeking protection from a store security guard Monday in nearby Highland Park. Later that day, she led police to a home in a neighborhood of bungalows and duplexes on the city's east side, where Davis was arrested. Davis was charged Thursday with nine felony counts in cases involving the girl and a 20-year-old woman in Detroit, but prosecutors and police say they expect more charges and more victims to come forward. An innocent plea was entered for Davis at his arraignment Thursday, said Rebecca Tenorio, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office. David Perlman, Davis' attorney, declined to comment Thursday. Investigators said dozens of girls and women might have been forced into prostitution in Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago, and they are looking into leads in Ohio and Wisconsin. The FBI also is investigating. ``This could happen to any teenage girl in America,'' said Avery Friedman, a lawyer for the 17-year-old and her family. He said the girl didn't fit the profile of others drawn into the ring. Wayne County Prosecutor Michael Duggan said the kidnapping likely was unusual for the ring. Instead, he said they often brought in girls and women - like the 20-year-old - with promises they would be selling jewelry on the street. The 20-year-old told police she was lured into the ring by the prospect of earning $300 to $500 a day. But after being shuttled between Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago,she said she was held at the Detroit home since November and forced to perform sex acts. Prosecutors say cult-like tactics were used to enlist the girls and women as prostitutes. This involved physical and sexual assaults, as well as cultivating what Duggan described as a ``feeling of friendship or family'' among those in the ring. At the home, Davis and others allegedly used a practice they called ``violating.'' Authorities say men and womenwould beat up a woman or girl if she didn't sell enough jewelry or participate in sex acts at a place referred to as ``The Club'' on the city's west side. The department has been investigating the alleged sex ring since reports of kidnappings six to seven months ago. Police said several others had reported being kidnapped, raped and forced into prostitution. The Detroit Free press reported police first met Davis in 1998 when a girl jumped out of a car at a restaurant and told officers she had been raped. Prosecutors said they lacked sufficient evidence to charge him. In 2000, police answering a disturbance call at a motel found Davis with two 15-year-old girls, a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman. The 18-year-old said she had been raped. The others refused to cooperate, and Davis again was not charged, police said. Duggan said some alleged victims who came forward earlier were runaways who couldn't be found later. Others couldn't provide information on where they were held. `When it would come to the attention of the authorities,the women who were voluntarily in the ring step forward and say they participated freely,'' he said. Authorities are trying to find ``The Club'' so they can shut it down. Police are also investigating claims some of the women or girls worked at legitimate adult entertainment businesses. Davis, who is being held on $1 million bond in each case, faces up to life in prison if convicted of the criminal sexual conduct charges. 01/17/03 04:53 I hope Jersey Isnt as trashy as that. Yuck! j.