Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sexual enslavement case: Church trip to Alabama and Georgia may have saved Guatamalan girl

By Press-Register staff

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A church trip to Alabama and Georgia in which a teen Guatemalan girl befriended an adult woman may have saved the teen from a tortured life of rape, beatings, field work and pornographic films across the South.

The News-Press of Fort Myers reports that 46-year-old Francisco Franciso Domingo of Immokalee, Fla., has been arrested and more arrests are possible in what prosecutors described as an horrific case of human trafficking and enslavement.

"It's an ongoing investigation, and we have many, many other leads to run down,"
Douglas Molloy, chief assistant U.S. attorney, said in the News-Press report. "Unfortunately, sexual slavery and indentured servitude are right in our neighborhoods and the fields adjacent to our neighborhoods."

Authorities said the break in the case came when a woman at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Immokalee befriended the girl and Domingo agreed to let the girl join the girl on a 4-day church trip to Alabama and Georgia.

When they returned to Immokalee, the girl told her friend she didn't want to go back to Domingo's house, confided she thought she might be pregnant and then began speaking to law enforcement officers. It was then she gave officers a memory card she managed to slip out of camera when she was left alone in a room that had been made into a makeshift pornography studio.