EAST WHITELAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A frantic Facebook Messenger plea to her mother not only saved a 14-year-old Maryland girl from a sex-trafficking operation but also resulted in eight arrests and the rescue of another 18-year-old victim.
Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan told WPVI the girl was recovered from a Pennsylvania convenience store parking lot May 30, several weeks after the girl went missing from Maryland, the criminal complaint states.
The girl told investigators she was recruited via Snapchat by another girl, known to her as 17-year-old Tiny, whom she met at a Washington, D.C. party.
According to the criminal complaint, the girl said Tiny, who is believed to be from Camden, New Jersey, messaged her asking if she wanted to make money. Tiny then picked the girl up in Maryland and drove her to an apartment in Malvern, Pennsylvania, WPVI reported.
The girl was then forced to perform a sex act on one of the arrested suspects as a way of “breaking” her. Tiny and another co-defendant then took pictures of her to advertise her for sex and took her to Walmart to buy “sexy clothes,” investigators said.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, by the time the girl was able to ask her mother for help on May 28, she had been raped by as many as four or five people per day for weeks.
“I don’t want to be here anymore,” the girl said over Facebook Messenger.
Her mother contacted police, and she was rescued in Malvern two days later.
“Anything where children behind closed doors are treated in a way that is unconscionable like this is something we have been working our whole careers to root out,” Ryan told WPVI.
According to a statement issued by Ryan’s office, of the eight people arrested, three Malvern men were charged with sex-trafficking offenses, including Dimas Omar Cornejo “Adonys” Hernandez, 34; Franklin Rivera “Mono” Mendieta, 25; and Josue Sibrian Sanchez, 33. The charges include trafficking in minors, involuntary servitude, kidnapping and rape for offenses committed between February and May.
The other five suspects are accused of paying to have sex with at least one of the teenagers and include Diana Ordonez, 25; Luis Cabrera Peralta, 29; Nestor Ruiz, 45; Juan Humberto Ortiz Ortiz, 35; and Carlos Villatoro Gallegos, 23.
“We are committed to getting justice for these victims, and we will hold all of the suspects accountable for these criminal acts to the fullest extent of the law,” Ryan told WPVI.