I feel like this story hasn’t been covered enough.
Human traffickers hanging out at sporting arenas and stadiums is insane if you think about it. You shouldn’t have to worry about your 15-year-old going to the bathroom and never coming home again.
This young woman was fortunate, and I am glad these individuals are behind bars.
Oklahoma City authorities have arrested and charged eight individuals after a 15-year-old Texas girl was allegedly trafficked from a Dallas Mavericks game at the American Airlines Center (AAC) game on April 8.
The girl went to use the bathroom while attending the Mavericks game with her father and never returned, according to a press release from her family’s attorney, Zeke Fortenberry of the Fortenberry Firm, PLLC.
She was gone for 10 days until authorities located her at an Extended Stay America hotel in Oklahoma City on April 18.
The Oklahoma City Police Department has arrested Saniya Alexander, Melissa Wheeler, Chevaun Gibson, Kenneth Nelson, Sarah Hayes, Karen Gonzales, Thalia Gibson and Steven Hill in connection to the trafficking case. Gibson is charged with offering to engage in prostitution; Nelson, Hayes and Gonzales are charged with human trafficking and distribution of child p*rnography; Hill is charged with rape; Gibson and Alexander have felony warrants; and Wheeler has a robbery warrant.
After the girl left to use the bathroom at the AAC and did not return, her father “immediately notified AAC security, staff, and Dallas [p]olice [o]fficers of her disappearance.” By the time the game ended, she “had not been found,” and her father was instructed to return home.
The victim’s parents eventually sought a nonprofit handling Texas trafficking cases called the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative (TXCTI) to help them locate their daughter. The organization was able to track down explicit images of the victim on a prostitution website out of Oklahoma City.
Now, her family is demanding answers as to why the DPD and AAC did not do more to help locate the girl when she went missing. They are also demanding answers from Extended Stay America, which Fortenberry alleges did not implement safety and security protocols to protect the girl from a registered sex offender who used a fake name and ID card to rent rooms at the hotel chain’s location in Oklahoma City.
The offender was allegedly able to purchase multiple hotel rooms for multiple nights.
It isn’t surprising the police were basically no help in this case.
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