Poker Player Turned Pimp Faces Trial, Girlfriend Enters Guilty Plea

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  • Poker player was arrested after woman he is accused of grooming to become a prostitute called 911
  • Woman said her “pimp’ regularly threatened her and demanded she make a certain amount of money per day
  • Poker player’s girlfriend entered shock guilty plea opening day of trial

A poker player accused of sex trafficking is due to face trial while his girlfriend and co-defendant has plead guilty to similar charges.

Thomas Szczerba is alleged to have met a female in 2015 while visiting Houston and began grooming her to come to St. Louis by way of Wisconsin and Chicago and work as a prostitute. In July 2015, the victim called 911. Szczerba and his girlfriend, 30-year-old Keisha Edward, were arrested that same day.

The victim claimed during the frantic 911 call that her pimp had been following her and that his gold Mercedes was now circling the block. 

Edwards plead guilty Wednesday to two prostitution-related charges and admitted using social media and websites to advertise a woman for sex. Five other charges were dropped.  The plea was entered into just as the opening statements in the trial were set to begin.  Edwards is facing up to five years in prison.  The dropped charges would have resulted in up to fifteen years behind bars.

Szczerba, who traveled the US playing in various poker tournaments, is facing seven prostitution charges including sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

Prosecutors claim that Szczerba restricted the woman’s food intake and threatened her regularly.  She was also required to make a certain amount each day.  Szczerba is also said to have provided the woman with a cellphone that he erased each day to purge any evidence of the sex trafficking.

Szczerba is going ahead with the trial but Gambling911.com will continue to monitor this story for any further developments.

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com