AKRON, Ohio—The girl says she had been with dozens of middle-age men in Ohio and Mexico — all before she turned 13.
Now, at age 16, she is about to give birth to her third child. She blames her circumstances on her mother, who now sits in the Summit County Jail facing felony prostitution charges for selling the child to Akron-area men.
The sex-for-money arrangement began in 2007, the girl said, when her mother, also a former prostitute, first took her door to door. She sold the child to older men for cash or cocaine.
“I’m really angry at my mother,” the daughter said in an interview Monday. “I’m terrified by what she did. It’s hard to look her directly in the face.”
The girl said that in 2007 and 2008 her mother would walk her to different apartments to meet men, some of whom were in their 30s or 40s. Her mother would sometimes be paid $40 — less if cocaine was part of the deal. Some days, the girl said, dozens of men would be served.
She said she was pregnant when she ran away to Mexico in 2008. She later miscarried. Her pregnancies have never come willingly, she said.
She’s unsure of the fathers.
“It’s really hard on me,” she said. “Really, it was my mother. She wanted drugs and alcohol. She didn’t spend it on clothes or food.”
The teen lives in a foster home on Akron’s west side. She’s been there since she was returned to Ohio earlier this year after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children discovered her living in Mexico as a runaway.
Her children, ages 1 and 2, remain in Mexico, where she fled in 2008 with a friend to avoid working as a prostitute in Ohio. That friend, she said, turned on her and forced her to perform more sex work in the foreign country.
“It was really hard for me being in another country, having to work and take care of my two children,” she said.
The girl said she had a successful freshman year at Buchtel High School and hopes to continue making progress with her education. She said she has never received any counseling.
The mother, 37, is accused in Akron Municipal Court on felony charges of compelling prostitution and promoting prostitution. She was being held in the Summit County Jail under a $100,000 bond. The mother’s name is not being used because of a Beacon Journal policy of not identifying victims of sexual assault.
According to court records, the mother is accused of forcing her then 11-year-old daughter to “engage in sexual conduct for money” in early 2007. Police Capt. Dan Zampelli said it appears the girl fled Akron to live with friends in Chapa de Mota, near Mexico City.
Once the girl returned to Ohio earlier this year, Zampelli said, she told authorities that she left Akron to escape her mother and prostitution. Her mother was arrested Friday at her Uhler Street home based on the girl’s statements and witnesses.
“(The mother) would take her daughter to different places and offer her daughter for money,” Zampelli said.
Zampelli said the girl’s mother has previous arrests for soliciting as a prostitute.
Detectives are continuing to investigate the case in an effort to identify the men who had sex with the child.
©2012 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)