Police have arrested two Boise residents in connection with an ongoing organized prostitution and human trafficking case that investigators fear may have included numerous women as victims.
Derrick Hicklen, 44, has been charged with human trafficking, detention for prostitution, rape, procurement and video voyeurism, all felonies. Gypsie Akers, 28, is charged with accepting earnings of a prostitute, detention for prostitution, procurement and receiving funds from procurement, also felonies.
According to Boise police, officials received information from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office of possible human trafficking in Boise on Oct. 19, prompting detectives from the Boise Police Violent Crimes and Gang Units—with assistance from an Ada County detective—to investigate.
What they found was evidence that Hicklen and Akers had pressed or persuaded more than a dozen Boise-area women into an organized prostitution ring—defined in a BPD press release as “holding the victims in hotels where they were forced to perform several prostitution related acts for money.”
Police report that Akers is accused of taking the money earned by victims, while Hicklen is accused of performing sex acts on the victims without their consent—including while unable to resist due to substance use. Evidence exists that Hicklen photographed the incidents.
Both Hicklen and Akers were served warrants on the charges Tuesday, Nov. 6, though Akers was already in Ada County Jail on an unrelated drug charge.
News of the arrests was not released until 36 hours after the suspects were taken into custody, giving investigators time to reach out to women who may have been victimized by the suspects—both to gather evidence and give alleged victims legal and emotional support, which is being provided by the Boise Police Department Victim Services Unit.
Hicklen and Akers have been arraigned and preliminary hearings for both are scheduled for Nov. 19 in 4th District Court.