Six women and two men are facing charges in the sex-trafficking kidnapping of a 15-year-old girl who left her father at a Mavericks basketball game in Dallas last month to use the bathroom.
The teen was located 10 days later at an Oklahoma City hotel 200 miles away after the Texas Human Trafficking Initiative, a nonprofit organization contacted by her parents, found nude photos of her on a website known for prostitution.
The girl’s parents are heartbroken for their daughter and furious with Dallas police, who they said dismissed their concerns about their missing daughter, according to family attorney Zeke Fortenberry.
The girl’s father immediately contacted security at the American Airlines Center arena when his daughter went missing, and the parents “repeatedly” contacted Dallas police to find the girl, Fortenberry said in a statement earlier this month. this month.
Dallas police “never launched an investigation and made no effort to locate the teen,” not even bothering to get a photograph of her, Fortenberry said.
A Dallas police spokesman told Fox News on Friday that an officer at the arena searched for the teen there when her father reported her missing.
Police also cited the Texas Family Code, which said it “dictates that missing children” be considered “runaways unless there are circumstances that appear involuntary, such as a kidnapping or kidnapping.” The case was filed in the suburb where the teenager lives, about 30 minutes from the stadium, and the information was included in the local police bulletin.
“My daughter disappeared in the city of Dallas, this is a Dallas case, but they refused to open a case for her,” the girl’s father said.
Fortenberry said the “systems and organizations involved in this case continually failed the victim. She should never have had contact with the man at the Mavericks game. Dallas police should have worked quickly to investigate the leads and locate the teen before she was trafficked to Oklahoma.”
The teen was found by Oklahoma City police after the Texas Anti-Trafficking Initiative alerted them to the Internet photos. All eight suspects were arrested last month. Several of them had significant criminal records.
“These are very bad players that we’re talking about,” said Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department.
The suspects have been indicted on a variety of charges, from rape to human trafficking, distribution of child pornography and solicitation of prostitution.
“This victim’s life will change forever. We hope to hold those responsible accountable and create change within these organizations so that this never happens to any other child,” Fortenberry said in his statement.
The teen’s mother thanked the Oklahoma City police for their help.
“We are grateful for the work of the Oklahoma City Police Department and the recovery of our daughter,” the girl’s mother said. “My heart breaks for the unimaginable things my daughter had to endure during the 11 days she was taken away, and I am so glad she is safe as we work towards her recovery.”