A teenage girl who ran away from her Tamarac home fell into the hands of sex traffickers who prostituted her to hundreds of men in just a matter of weeks, police say.
The 13-year-old child made so much money for them, they nicknamed her “breadmaker.”
Now, her alleged traffickers face life in prison.
The girl told investigators she ran away from her quiet suburban home because “she was bored,” according to federal court documents. She left on the evening of May 19. Shortly afterward, she met a 19-year-old woman named Racquel Bijou at a party, court documents state.
Bijou offered to help the runaway girl make money, and when the girl took her up on the offer, Bijou explained the business, telling her she needed to prostitute herself, the court records say.
And it was Bijou who began to arrange the buying and the selling, police said. Bijou arranged for the runaway to meet men, some as old as 50, and to text Bijou with the time and the dollar amount of each sex act.
The runaway went along with it because she had no money, and no place to stay, she told investigators.
Court records show that on the evening of June 4, the runaway reported to Bijou prostituting herself six times between 7:45 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.
Bijou brought in two associates, 22-year-old Jeremiah Horenstein and 25-year-old Ashton Lewinson, police said.
Bijou and Horenstein took pictures of the runaway and posted them online on websites that advertise commercial sex acts, prosecutors say.
Documents state that Horenstein, Bijou, and Lewinson assured that meetings with Johns were arranged.
On at least three occasions, hotel rooms were booked, and Bijou, Horenstein, Lewinson, and the runaway would drive over to the hotels in a big flashy white Mercedes.
In the span of little less than a month, and at the direction of Bijou, Horenstein, and Lewinson, the runaway slept with hundreds of men, police said. Horenstein nicknamed her “breadmaker.”
And federal court documents say there’s a possibility that she wasn’t the only minor trafficked by the three. The criminal complaint states the runaway told investigators she participated in at least one prostitution-related sex act with another unnamed 15-year-old.
But at one point, Bijou had a falling out with Horenstein, and the runaway ended up working for another woman, 27-year-old Souprina Blanc, documents say.
The runaway engaged in at least a half-dozen sex acts at the behest of Blanc, and these encounters occurred at Airbnb rentals, police said. It was at one such rental that investigators managed to track down the runaway.
Three days after the girl’s disappearance, a relative had received a startling text from her. She said she had had sex with "so many people.”
Concerned for her safety, that relative had turned over the runaway girl’s phone records to investigators, who found that the girl’s phone had been in constant contact with a number listed on numerous online prostitution advertisements.
Miami-Dade Police investigators, aided by the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, used that number to set up a sting, setting up surveillance on June 11 around a Miami residence they suspected harbored the girl. When a girl matching the runaway’s description exited the residence, authorities apprehended her — quietly. Then they moved in on the home.
In the living room, they found Blanc, 27, and in the bedroom, the cops also found another unidentified female, naked. And in the bathroom, court documents indicate the cops found a man, also naked, hiding in the shower.
Bijou and Horenstein were arrested on Aug. 15. Lewinson was arrested on Nov. 21, and Blanc was arrested last week.
Bijou, Horenstein and Lewinson are being held without bond. Blanc appeared in federal magistrate court in Miami on Tuesday, and is also being held without bond.
All four have been charged with sex trafficking a minor, a charge that carries a maximum of life. Bijou pleaded guilty on Nov. 19.
Attorneys for Blanc could not be reached for comment.
The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida declined to comment on the pending case, but they ask the public to report suspected human trafficking to 1-888-373-7888; to text “BeFree” (233733), or to live chat at HumanTraffickingHotline.org.
The toll-free phone, text lines, and online chat function are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Date Posted: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 , Total Page Views: 454
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