Three New Jersey men have been arrested for allegedly forcing a 17-year-old girl to work as a prostitute.

Police said the 17-year-old was forced to act as prostitute at an unidentified hotel on Route 73 in Mount Laurel on March 3.

The girl told detectives that an acquaintance and two other men took her to the hotel and threatened to harm her if she didn't cooperate.

The group then left the hotel, with plans to go to Atlantic City, according to Mount Laurel police. On the way, they stopped at the victim's Gloucester City residence, where someone called 911.

When police arrived at the scene, officers found a handgun in the vehicle they were traveling in, authorities said.

Police said 28-year-old Camden resident Aaron Gray, the girl's acquaintance, is facing charges of promoting prostitution, unlawful possession of a handgun, terroristic threats, conspiracy to promote prostitution and other offenses. He is being held at the Camden County jail on $200,000 bail.

The other two men arrested were 34-year-old Kenneth Mertz, of Collingswood, and 22-year-old Aja Easley, of Camden. They were each charged with conspiracy to promote prostitution and prohibited person possessing a weapon.

Both men were being held on $35,000 bail.

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillydotcom on Twitter.