Follow Up Post re: Juvenile Sex Trafficking in Springfield

Posted: November 13, 2011 in GLOA 491
Tags: , , , ,

Not too long ago I wrote a post about Rances Amaya, a member of MS-13 who was arrested in Springfield, VA on accusations of running a prostitution ring composed of minor females. Between then and now, I have been able to obtain some of the court documents filed in the case, including an affidavit filed by a the FBI in support of the criminal complaint. The supporting affidavit documents some of the observations made by Federal law enforcement agents that led to the charges against Mr. Amaya. Without walking you trough the specifics, I would like to highlight some details that I learned about the case which touch on concepts that we’ve discussed in GLOA 491. Keep in mind that these are only accusations, and not necessarily facts (though most are supported by witnesses):

  1. Beginning in the Spring of 2010 Amaya employed 4 underage runaways as prostitutes. He recruited approximately 15 clients around this period for the girls to service. We’ve all heard horror stories about victims forced to service 20 clients a day, so Mr. Amaya’s business seems relatively moderate in comparison, though this would probably be of little comfort to Mr. Amaya’s victims.
  2. Mr. Amaya provided the underage girls with condoms and the morning-after pill. Forced use of contraceptives and abortions seems to be a widely used, but not universal, practice in the forced sex trade. Frequency of use in the Amaya case is unclear.
  3. Mr. Amaya is accused of verbally abusing, threatening, and physically abusing the girls, yelling at a girl on at least one occasion, “bitch, you better fuck!” On another occasion, he assaulted one of the runaways for trying to leave a hotel room. Threat/use of force and restrictions on freedom of movement are key differences between the voluntary and forced sex trades.
  4. At least one girl was said to have a hand in some of the administrative functions of the business by obtaining and distributing condoms and accompanying the other girls during transportation to clients. This reminded me of the former sex slaves in Thailand and Moldova who moved on to become recruiters for their former abusers.
In researching the Amaya case, I learned that it actually had its roots an another case, USA v. Ormeno, in which another man, Alonso Ormeno, also associated with MS-13, was charged with sex trafficking of a minor and recently sentenced to nearly 25 years in Federal prison. I have also obtained the court filings for the Ormeno case and will be skimming through them over the next few days/weeks. The Ormeno case filings contain a lot of detailed information because the case is completed so all of the details have been documented, as opposed to the Amaya case which only recently started.
Let me know if you want info on how to obtain documents filed in Federal courts for your research; it is really easy but can take up to a week or two to get your info processed initially. Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) charges $0.10 per page to view docs, but won’t send you a bill until you have $10.00 in charges. So if I understand correctly, you won’t get billed at all as long as you view less than 100 pages.
  1. His involvement in the prostitution ring was uncovered by the NY Times based on tip, after prosecutors arrested four people.

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