Human Traffic Watch

Sex traffickers force girls as young as 8 into prostitution in Central Florida

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on September 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Fifteen-year-old C.G. was hanging out with friends inTampa‘s popular Ybor City when she met a man, several years her senior, who offered her a ride home.

FBI agents say C.G. accepted the ride, but Weylin Rodriguez didn’t take her to her house. Instead, he headed to Orlando with big plans for the girl: He was going to force her to become a prostitute.

Authorities say that like C.G., teenage girls across the country are forced into the sex industry. Sometimes, they end up in Central Florida because of the area’s conventions and special events, which make it a lucrative region.

While Orange Blossom Trail is notorious for prostitution, law-enforcement and child-welfare officials say they also encounter teenage trafficking victims in the International Drive and Kirkman Road areas.

Agents say Rodriguez picked up three other girls on the way from Tampa to Orlando with C.G. and took them all to the Knights Inn on Orange Blossom Trail.

Rodriguez took C.G.’s cellphone and belongings and told her if she “made enough money” he would take her home. Rodriguez wanted C.G. to work as a prostitute. She refused.

The next day, Rodriguez moved C.G. and several other girls to the nearby Safar Inn.

There, one of Rodriguez’s prostitutes and enforcers — Pria Gunn — slid furniture against the motel-room door so the girls couldn’t leave, agents say. Rodriguez pulled phone cables out of the walls. C.G. wasn’t even allowed to go to the bathroom by herself.

Rodriguez told C.G. she had to work the strip that night. When she began crying, Rodriguez told her to shut up or he would hit her. C.G. didn’t fight Rodriguez that time.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

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