An illegal alien in North Carolina has been charged with several crimes after he bought a 14-year-old Guatemalan girl as a sex slave, according to police.
Guatemalan Pasqual Mendez, 23, purchased the girl from her family members and paid for her travel expenses as part of the trafficking deal, according to The News Herald.
The Morganton Department of Public Safety determined that while the girl was a “legal resident” of the U.S., they found no evidence that Mendez was in the country legally and he may face deportation if convicted. His charges include felony human trafficking of a child and statutory rape.
Local residents were appalled when they found out a sex slave lived in their neighborhood, but Mendez’s family approved of the arrangement.
The victim’s cousin explained to a local news outlet in Spanish that the victim, brought to the U.S. six weeks ago, was there to work. “She can clean up and do stuff. And also sweep and mop,” the cousin’s daughter translated.
“It is disgusting that the United States let that happen, to be honest with you,” an American-born neighbor told the TV station. “What did [Mendez] go through to make this happen?”
While police aren’t releasing the exact amount Mendez paid for the girl, Mendez’s family said he bought the 14-year-old for thousands of dollars and planned to marry her.
Guatemala raised the legal age at which girls can be married from 14 to 18 in 2015, but implementing the change demands a massive “cultural shift” that’s slow to take hold in the Third World country. And child sex trafficking is rampant in Guatemala:
Every day 33 people become entrapped in sex trafficking rings in Guatemala, including a “shocking” proportion of children, some of them sold into the sex trade by their mothers, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.
Nearly 60 percent of the 50,000 victims of sex trafficking in Guatemala are children, according to a report by UNICEF and the U.N. Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which estimates the industry to be worth $1.6 billion a year.
“We never imagined the magnitude of the number of children being sexually exploited. People were shocked by the figures, as were we,” Mariko Kagoshima said, referring to the recent U.N. report.
Girls as young as 12 work in brothels and are forced to have sex with up to 30 customers a day, while virgin girls are recruited at schools, she said.
Sex trafficking is fueled by a “social tolerance” of children being sold for sex work, a business equal to 2.7 percent of Guatemala’s gross domestic product, she said.
Local news headlines describe the illegal alien enslaver as a “man,” leaving the public in the dark about how a lack of immigration enforcement affects their communities, and ignoring the fact that criminal aliens live amongst them in violation of their consent.
Mendez was charged June 30 and is held on a $1 million secured bond.
As many as 11 to 30 million illegal aliens remain on U.S. territory.