A Sandy Springs, Georgia, man accused of holding several women against their will in a mansion and forcing them to dance in strip clubs told WSB-TV that he's a legitimate businessman wrongly incarcerated.
Police arrested 34-year-old Kenndric Roberts in March after a woman called 911 to report she needed help and was in a bad situation.
Police claim Roberts lured the women to a mansion he was renting off Nesbit Ferry Road and then forced the women to strip and pay him a portion of their cut.
They also claim he threatened bodily harm to the women if they defected from the sprawling home.
"I'm running a business. I'm not running some mom and pop shop here," Roberts exclusively told WSB-TV's Mike Petchenik. "These things are accounted for."
Roberts told Petchenik his company, Live Star Nation, is an entertainment distribution business that works with athletes, models and other entertainers.
Roberts, who said he modeled his blueprint after Hugh Hefner’s “Playboy,” said he met the women living in the house through social media and on a website that caters to younger women seeking older, wealthy men.
“As I engaged a lot of them, I started to say, ‘Hey, what can we do on a business relationship to where we benefit each other?’” he said. “Unfortunately, most of these girls I did run into, they were going through poverty situations at the time.”
Roberts told Petchenik that after a vigorous vetting, he chose women to join his business and offered them lucrative contracts, room and board.
“Let me provide you housing. Not just regular housing. Quality housing. A mansion or somewhere where rent is $3,000-plus,” he said. “Exotic cars. Your Audis, your Lamborghinis, these types of exotic cars.”
Roberts maintains he never forced the women to have sex with him, nor did he force them to dance for money.
“It was a contract, a voluntary contract agreement,” he said.
At a preliminary hearing after his arrest, a judge dismissed most of the most serious charges, at the time noting she believed the dispute was a civil one and not criminal acts.
But Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard sought and obtained felony indictments that reinstated the charges against Roberts.
He has remained in the Fulton County Jail without a bond.
“I think this virtual prison that the prosecution is trying to create is literally the only angle they can go with,” he said. “Honestly, I get it. It’s logical for them to try to present that angle.”
Roberts said the women were free to come and go as they pleased.
“All these women have visited their parents, went home for holidays,” he said. “(They) had access to bank accounts.”
Roberts maintains the state has targeted him because he’s an African-American man who did business with white women.
“I mean, let’s be real,” he said. “If this was a black girl or any black girls, would it have even gone this far? Here’s this young African-American boy with all this jewelry, all these fancy vehicles, all these nice houses, jewelry, he must be involved in drugs. He must be involved in some kind of illegal activity.”
Prosecutors claim Roberts is a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang and used that position to frighten and intimidate the women.
"Are you affiliated with any gangs?" Petchenik asked.
“Gangs. I was waiting on that,” said Roberts. “That’s a real tough question there as far as 'What is a gang?'”
Roberts’ hands are adorned with tattoos of the numbers “7” and “4,” which he said are references to the seventh and fourth letters of the Alphabet, “G” and “D.”
But Roberts maintains it’s a nod to “Growth and Development,” not the violence associated with the notorious Chicago street gang.
“I would think at 34 years old, if I’m all that and a bag of chips, like I’m John Gotti’s stepson, wouldn’t I have some gang violent act I would have been incriminated of?” he said.
Roberts has no criminal record on file in Fulton County other than this arrest.
“Don’t get me wrong. There are people conducting acts in the name of organizations that aren’t right,” he said. “This isn’t one of them.”
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