Tennessee Man Arrested After Attempting to Pay Mom Cash for Sex with Her 7-year-old

by Adrian Mojica, Eric Alvarez

NASHVILLE, TN, Fox 17 News.-A 37-year-old Murfreesboro man has been arrested after allegedly trying to pay a mother to have sex with her seven-year-old daughter.

Murfreesboro Police arrested Edward Vanepps on Monday at the Baymont Inn. Police interviewed Vanepps after the mother filed a report and during questioning, police say Vanepps admitted to attempting to pay $100 to have sex with the child.

Vanepps also admitted to sending a text message stating an 8-year-old child had given him oral sex in the past and also claimed to have sold his own close relative for sex in the past in exchange for cash.

Vanepps told police he made these statements up as a means to get the mother of the 7-year-old to allow him to sleep with the daughter and "make her more comfortable with the idea."

Vanepps is facing charges of solicitation of a minor to commit child rape. He is being held at the Rutherford County Jail on $10,000 bond.

The fight to end human trafficking in Tennessee

While many sex-trafficking victims are kidnapped or runaways, it's not uncommon for adults to sell young relatives, according to End Slavery Tennessee.

"I think people are horrified when they see a news story like this and don't realize it's happening every day," End Slavery Tennessee CEO Derri Smith said. "I have one girl who was 4 years old and her mother was selling herself for drugs and then realized she would make a lot more money a lot faster if she sold her little girl."

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has a dedicated team of agents fighting sex trafficking.

"Human trafficking is happening in small towns and big cities from Memphis to Mountain City, all the way across Tennessee,” TBI spokesperson Josh Devine said.

That's why the TBI is joining Sen. Lamar Alexander and Gov. Haslam in the fight to end sex trafficking.

Thousands of Tennesseans, including Peyton Manning, took to social media to post about the “End It” movement, which raises awareness about human trafficking in the Volunteer State and how to fight it.

"Demand is absolutely the key to ending human trafficking,” Devine said. “There would not be a supply of women and young girls for illicit sex if there were not a demand.”