She was starved in New York with her baby and forced to have sex with as many as three dozen men a day. Why a Mexican teen is still terrified, even as her captors go to prison for life.
The windowless room where she and her infant son were held had no lights other than a small TV by whose glow she could see huge rats that bit her and caused her to protectively clutch her starving child as the two went for days without food.
When she was sufficiently broken and terrorized, she was forced to have sex with as many as three-dozen men a day. She was beaten if she dared to protest.
And that is just part of the horrific reality that the woman known only as Victim 1 recounted in a statement at the sentencing of a monstrous sex trafficker in Manhattan Federal Court on Friday.
This is a reality to remember when you hear about Somaly Mam’s shameful posing as a victimas she sought celebrity while supposedly campaigning against sex trafficking.
The danger of the Cambodian charlatan’s trafficking in lies is that it might make people forget the millions of actual victims around the world.
One of them is the young single mom who submitted a victim’s impact statement at the sentencing of Bonifacio Flores-Mendez, who came to New York from is Tenancingo, the small Mexican town that prosecutors have called ”the sex-trafficking capital of the world.”
This genuine victim didn’t wish to be identified at all, much less to become famous. She hoped only for justice.
Victim 1’s statement begins, “My horrible nightmare began as a teenager when I met Bonifacio’s brother, Isaias Flores-Mendez. He owned a bar in Puebla and when I would pass by it to and from my work as a nanny, he would come out to talk to me. We became friends and I began to trust him. Eventually, we started dating.”
She was a teenage single mother in a place bereft of options and Isaias spoke to her about a land of promise.
“The United States—where I could have a better life for my infant son and myself,” she says. “He told me he would help me to get a good job and would arrange everything for our trip to the U.S.—he would set it all up with his brother, Bonifacio, who was in New York.”
A few days later, Isaias brought her seemingly wonderful news.
“Isaias told me that he and Bonifacio reached an agreement—Bonifacio would loan me the money for the trip and be waiting for me when I arrived. I was just 17 years old when my baby and I entered the U.S.”
She landed at La Guardia Airport in New York. Bonifacio met her and drove her to a house in Queens, where she got her first inkling that the reality would not meet her expectations.
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SOURCE: Michael Daly
The Daily Beast