Police Arrest 11 MS-13 Members for Sex Trafficking 13-Year-Old Girl
The child trafficking task force discovered the girl who had been beaten by gang
Federal law enforcement officals charged 11 alleged members of the violent street gang MS-13 with sex trafficking a 13-year-old girl, who was repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat and forced into prostitution in northern Virginia.
According to a 48-page FBI affidavit, the young girl ran away from a group home in Fairfax in August 2018.
It was believed the girl's 16-year-old friend was connected to MS-13.
The child trafficking task force discovered the girl two months later at an apartment in Mount Rainier, Maryland.
The girl revealed to authorities she had been beaten with a baseball bat on her backside and legs 26 times.
The first beatings were reportedly part of an initiation to the gang, but the others were punishment for talking to rival gang members.
The girl told authorities she could barely walk after the beatings and continues to suffer from the pain.
She also said she was plied with alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine.
On Tuesday, charges were unsealed in federal court in Alexandria.
The affidavit states that the girl was sexually assaulted by multiple gang members, and that the gang prostituted her on numerous occasions.
Ten of the defendants were arrested Tuesday, according to court records.
“TEN MS-13 members and associates taken into custody on charges of the sex trafficking of a juvenile under the age of 14” Thank you to @FBIWFO @FairfaxCountyPD @PWCPolice and many other brave women & men in blue. pic.twitter.com/vNDATZEPwO— US Attorney Terwilliger (@USATerwilliger) August 5, 2020
A magistrate ordered that they have attorneys appointed on their behalf, and they beheld pending a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger said during a news conference:
“People need to start acknowledging this is a problem."
"Certain police departments have folded their gang units because of politics.”
Terwilliger said the gang preys “on our immigrant community.
"Fighting MS-13 is not anti-immigrant; it is pro-immigrant.”
He added that increased sophistication is needed to fight the gang in the future.
“Now that’s it’s harder to get across the border. We’ve got a real fighting chance to eliminate MS-13 and keep it that way,” he said.
“This is still going on in our communities. This is happening in Woodbridge, Virginia.”
The news comes a week after President Donald Trump revealed that Attorney General Bill Barr is seeking the death penalty for a "bloodthirsty" MS-13 gang member behind the deaths of seven Americans, including two high school teen girls.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at combating human trafficking and online child exploitation as the White House is putting a new focus on the issue.