Sex-trafficking ring uncovered after 14-year-old victim tells mom: ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’
Her rescue led to the discovery of a second victim and the arrest of eight people.
By the time she was able to ask her mother for help, authorities say, the 14-year-old girl had been raped by as many as four to five people per day for weeks.
“I don’t want to be here anymore,” the girl said over Facebook Messenger. Two days later, on May 30, law enforcement rescued her at a Wawa parking lot in Malvern, leading to the discovery of a second, 18-year-old victim and the arrest of eight people.
The 14-year-old, who was missing since early May, was a victim in a sex-trafficking organization, authorities said, run by three Malvern men: Dimas Omar Cornejo Hernandez, 34, also known as “Adonys”; Franklin Rivera Mendieta, 25, also known as “Mono”; and Josue Sibrian-Sanchez, 33, also known as “Sibrian.” These men are now facing charges including trafficking in minors, involuntary servitude, kidnapping, and rape for offenses committed between February and May 2020, according to a statement from the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.
Five other people who authorities say paid to have sex with at least one of the teenagers were also arrested in East Whiteland Township. They are: Diana Ordonez, 25; Luis Cabrera Peralta, 29; Nestor Ruiz, 45; Juan Humberto Ortiz Ortiz, 35; and Carlos Villatoro Gallegos, 23.
The 14-year-old told authorities that she met a girl named “Tiny” at a party in Washington, and Tiny later asked her over Snapchat if she wanted to make money. Tiny, who authorities identified as “a 17-year-old victim from Camden,” then picked her up in Maryland with one of the codefendants and drove her to an apartment in Malvern.
The 14-year-old girl was then “forced to perform oral sex on one of the codefendants as a means of ‘breaking’ and ‘testing’ her for the work she would be required to perform,” according to the District Attorney’s Office. Tiny and one of the codefendants took photos of her and took her to Walmart to buy “sexy clothes,” the 14-year-old told authorities.
She later told authorities she was raped by as many as four to five people per day at three different locations in East Whiteland and was threatened that she and her mother would be killed if she did not cooperate.
The 14-year-old sent a message to a friend saying she was being sold for sex and held against her will. Authorities did not say when that was sent. The Facebook message to her mother was made on May 28, leading to her rescue.
Investigators found a second victim, an 18-year-old, while interviewing witnesses. She said she was held against her will by the same men for about three weeks during February and March. She said she met a female Snapchat user who told her one of the codefendants “had a job for her working in a bar,” authorities said.
She was picked up in Virginia, brought to East Whiteland and, like the 14-year-old, said she was raped by multiple people while one of the defendants acted as a doorman collecting money. She was also sexually assaulted, “threatened with bodily harm if she attempted to leave,” and “forced to ingest drugs on various occasions.” She escaped after about three weeks.
“The allegations in this case are difficult to digest because of the calculated and deviant sexual exploitation of the two victims,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said in a statement. “Our office will continue the investigation to determine if there are other victims of this human sex-trafficking organization. We encourage anyone with further information to contact our office.”
Hernandez’s attorney declined to comment and neither Mendieta nor Sibrian-Sanchez have an attorney listed in online court records.
Cabrera Peralta’s attorney, Alexander Louis Silow, and Villatoro Gallegos’ attorney, Jeremy-Evan Alva, both said their clients deny the allegations against them. The other defendants either did not have lawyers listed in online court records, or their attorneys had no comment or could not be reached.
All are being held at Chester County Prison and have ICE detainers, except for Mendieta, the District Attorney’s Office said. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Thursday.