MISSOULA -- A Minnesota man whose brother pleaded guilty last year to a prostitution charge in Missoula County now faces the same charge himself.
Leroy Clifford Edwards, 20, appeared Wednesday afternoon in Missoula County Justice Court on a single felony charge of promoting prostitution in a case involving two sisters.
Last February, his 28-year-old brother Terrence was given a five-year suspended sentence for forcing his then-girlfriend into prostitution.
But in November a woman told Crime Stoppers that she lived with two sisters who were prostitutes working for Terrence Edwards and that they were recruiting her to join them, according to charging documents filed by Deputy Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst LaCroix.
A month later, two "concerned citizens" told police that "Terrence was conducting prostitution as a business with his brother Leroy," according to LaCroix's affidavit.
One of the sisters told the concerned residents "to not become prostitutes because Terrence and Leroy control every aspect of their prostitutes' lives." They told police that they'd seen fresh bruises on the woman, according to the affidavit.
One of the sisters told the two people that "she didn't have to do anything she didn't want ... that Terrence and/or Leroy would go with the girls to make sure they were OK," according to the affidavit. The woman told them that she "didn't receive any payments for the prostitution but instead Terrence and Leroy would provide her with the basic necessities in life," the affidavit said.
The two people gave police cellphone numbers allegedly used for the prostitution operation. The brothers also allegedly used a website to place ads for the sisters, according to the affidavit.
When an officer called one of the cell numbers, he learned that the Edwards brothers and one of the sisters "had likely gone to Boise, Idaho, to conduct prostitution businesses."
A Boise police officer told the Missoula officer that he'd found an advertisement for one of the sisters in Boise, the affidavit said.
Missoula County District Court issued an arrest warrant for Terrence Edwards on Dec. 21. Bail on the alleged probation violation was set at $250,000. He remains at large.
On Dec. 30 and 31, Leroy Edwards was arrested "after he responded to what he believed was the end of a prostitution deal." Missoula police arrested him on a felony warrant out of Minnesota for promoting prostitution.
Missoula County Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech set bail at $100,000, citing the nature of the charges and the alleged violence against the women.
The maximum penalty for promoting prostitution is 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Orzech set Edwards' next court appearance for Jan. 18.