MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The State Attorney's Office held a press conference Friday to discuss a human trafficking case where three people allegedly tried to prostitute a 16-year-old foster child.
According to the arrest report, the teen told the Family Resource Center (FRC) that she had been physically abused.
Police interviewed the victim on August 23rd.
She told them she had been staying, on and off, at a house in the 11800 block of 225 Street, which belonged to Michael Coney Jr.
According to police, the girl said Coney, over the last two weeks, had become increasingly aggressive with her.
At one point, she said, Coney demanded that she prostitute herself "to make money and pay to stay at the house."
"These bad guys, these predators, are waiting for girls and boys that are lost, that are alone, that are runaways, that are throwaways, they're the forgotten, they're the vulnerable," said Miami-Dade State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle. "This is a classic case of how she was lured with food and shelter and a place to stay, and then, before you know it, they've drawn her in to this horrible underbelly of inhumanity."
When she refused, Coney reportedly kicked her out of the home.
After being kicked out, the victim said she went across the street to a house in the 22300 block of SW 118th Place. The home belonged to Landis Wordly, a relative of Coney.
The victim told police that Wordly also told her to prostitute herself and bring the money back to him. She said Wordly would tell her this alone or in front of Coney and Jerrini Virgin.
The teen told police that Virgin was prostituting herself and had an open arrest warrant, which is why she was hiding out at Wordly's house.
The girl said Virgin beat her after she refused to prostitute herself.
"They were beating her, were drugging her, were forcing her to have sex with them and others," Fernandez Rundle said. "And when she could no longer take it, did not want to sell her body, did not want to prostitute herself, she attempted to flee."
According to the arrest report, the teen said she had sex with Wordly six to seven times and that he recorded some of the sex acts. She also said she had sex with Coney.
The teen told police that both men "provided her marijuana on multiple occasions and ecstasy once."
Police arrested Coney, Wordly and Virgin on several charges, including human trafficking, sex with a minor, giving a minor drugs and battery.
"We know it's happening in our community. We just need everyone's eyes and ears to reach out to our task force," Fernandez Rundle said.
for more features.