Texas prostitution sting led to rescue of girl, 7, from home in 'horrific condition': officials

ByCharly Edsitty KTRK logo
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Prostitution sting led to rescue of child in Spring, constable says
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Undercover deputies made contact with the girl's mother on the dark web. Investigators do not believe the child was involved in any kind of sexual activity.

SPRING, Texas -- An undercover operation resulted in the rescue of a 7-year-old girl from a home being used for prostitution, according to authorities in Texas.

The child was found to be living in "horrible conditions," Constable Mark Herman said. Photos released by the the Precinct 4 office showed the condition of the home.

"This is all this child knew. This here, to this child, is probably normal, and they know nothing else," Herman said at a press conference on Thursday, motioning to the photos of the home. "As a grandfather and father looking at this, it's pathetic. And we're not going to allow it."

The child's mother, 38-year-old Rose Shengmei Colton, was charged with prostitution and child endangerment. Her husband, 71-year-old Richard Charles Colton, was also charged with child endangerment. Herman said he expected more charges to be filed as the investigation continues.

Herman said after an initial forensic interview with the child, they do not believe she was involved in any kind of sexual activity at the house, though the investigation is ongoing.

According to Herman, constable deputies had been conducting an undercover operation over the past two weeks after receiving numerous tips from neighbors, and a crucial tip from Crime Stoppers.

Neighbors told deputies they saw a lot of people going in and out of the home at late night hours, in what Herman called a "predominately affluent neighborhood."

ORIGINAL REPORT: Rescued girl's parents charged with child endangerment after undercover operation, deputies say

Deputies conducted undercover surveillance in the area, which gave them the probable cause to believe illicit activity was happening, Herman said.

During the operation, deputies discovered that Rose Colton was allegedly advertising prostitution on the dark web. That's where undercover officers were able to connect with her.

Deputies said Rose Colton agreed to perform various acts for a $100 fee. The deputy set up an appointment to meet her, and that's when they raided the home on Tuesday, Herman said.

When deputies entered the home, Richard Colton allegedly had a gun.

As units worked to clear the home, deputies found a 7-year-old girl. They said the child had been in the same room where her mother allegedly conducted sex acts.

Officials contacted Child Protective Services, who said the child is now in foster care.

"Light always invades darkness. And this here was a dark situation, regardless of whether she was or she wasn't, that could have led down a bad path for this 7-year-old had it kept going," Herman said.

The constable added the 7-year-old did not need any kind of medical attention.

Investigators believe the girl is the biological daughter of Rose Colton, but not Richard Colton.

Richard Colton made his first court appearance overnight. His bond was set at $15,000. As of Thursday morning, he was still in custody.

Rose Colton was scheduled to make her first court appearance on Thursday.