Mother charged with prostituting daughter

Mellisa Bennett (photo courtesy: Virginia Beach police)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach mother has been arrested and charged with prostituting her teenage daughter.

According to an affidavit, 34-year-old Mellisa Bennett “persuaded and harassed” her 18-year-old daughter to commit sexual acts for money.

The daughter told investigators Bennett would take her to the “schoolhouse” located in the 3100 block of Tidewater Drive to perform prostitution acts.

Investigators say text messages show Bennett instructed her daughter to meet with various men “because they needed money.” Bennett admitted to the crimes and told investigators she asked for the money to pay for rent, hotel stays, gas and cell phone bills. She also said she accompanied her daughter to protect her from the men she planned to meet.

Document: Search warrant for Bennett’s iPhone

The incidents reportedly occurred just after the victim’s 18th birthday, between late April until June 11.

Bennett was arrested July 17 and charged with pandering. She’s due back in court in September.

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