Teen describes being forced to strip, have sex
MIAMI – It is a rare and revealing look into a young teen's claim that she was forced into prostitution and to strip at Club Madonna in South Beach.
In the taped recording, obtained by Local 10's Christina Vazquez, the 13-year-old, who said she is in seventh grade, told her story to Lt. Jose Alfonso just after 9 p.m. on Jan 5.
Lt. Alfonso: How were they going to get you to make money?
13-year-old: They wanted me to prostitute.
Lt. Alfonso: What did they tell you? Tell me exactly how they told you.
13-year-old: They were like (inaudible), 'Get some people for you, you will have sex with them,' and I was like, 'Why?' 'You need to make some money.'
In the taped recording obtained by Local 10, the 13-year-old's young voice will sometimes fade, sometimes crack as she recounts how she went from running away from home to dancing nude on a Club Madonna stage; all of this happening over a period of time most families were on Christmas break.
Lt. Alfonso: When is the last time that you went to school?
13 year old: Um, I don't know, like, November?
She tells him she lives with her mother and grandmother.
Lt. Alfonso: Do you know your Dad? No?
13 year old: My dad's dead.
The 13-year-old's mother reported her missing on Dec. 10, 2013.
The 13-year-old said she ran away with two other 15-year-old girls.
The first night they stayed in an abandoned home. She said the next day a friend gave her $100, which she used to rent a room at the White House Inn. That is where they met defendant Audelin Pierre.
13 year old: And we were like, 'We have nowhere to go,' and he was like, he got a house in Little Haiti, he has a house in Little Haiti.
It is at that Miami home where she said Pierre pimped her out for $80, where she was held against her will and where she met defendant DeWayne Ward, who she said had sex with her at least five times.
Lt. Alfonso: Did he force you to do that?
13 year old: Uh-huh.
Lt. Alfonso: How did he force you to do that?
13 year old: He was like, 'Man, you better stop playing, you better stop playing.' He would push me, he pulled my pants down and pushed me, and pushed me and pushed me.
Lt. Alfonso: So, on the first night, how does he tell you, why does he tell you you have to have sex with him?
13 year old: He said, 'You staying here, you ain't doing nothing, so you going to have sex with me.'
Lt. Alfonso: Okay, did you agree with that?
13 year old: I said no.
Lt. Alfonso: And what did you do?
13-year-old: I was like, 'Well, I'm not going to have sex with you,' and he was like, 'Yes you is,' and then he started pushing me around.
The seventh grader said Marlene San Vicente, a Club Madonna dancer at the time, was also staying at the house. San Vicente told a judge she was a mother of two.
Crime scene photos document the room where the 13-year-old said San Vicente and San Vicente's two young kids were living in. Little girls' clothing and toys were on and near a carriage-shaped bed frame with purple sheets.
13-year-old: I was watching her kids and she was like, 'You want to come work at my club?' and I was like, 'No, I don't want to work at your club,' and that's when I get forced in (inaudible)…
13-year-old: She brought me to her job and they just let me go on.
Lt. Alfonso: They let you go on?
13-year-old: Mm-hm, they said, 'Go ahead, go dance, we'll get ready.'
Lt. Alfonso: Did you meet the people who ran the club? Did they ask you any questions about yourself? Did they ask for ID? Nothing?
Also at the house she said was defendant Vibert Jean, who pocketed the cash the 13-year-old made stripping at Club Madonna.
13 year old: He was like threatening me and stuff. He was like, 'If you don't go, um, if you don't go, I'm going to beat you up,' or whatever.
The young teen told the lieutenant that the suggestion to strip at the South Beach club came up after she told the defendants she didn't want to be listed on the online site Backpage.
Lt. Alfonso: How many days did you dance?
13-year-old: I danced that day and I danced Saturday and I came back Thursday and I worked Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
According to court documents, the 13-year-old made $500 dancing at Club Madonna on Dec. 27, 2013, $200 on Dec. 28, 2013, $120 on Jan. 2, 2014, and $250 on Jan. 4, 2014. On Jan. 3, "the minor victim only made sufficient money to cover the mandatory Club Madonna house fee of $100 and the mandatory tips to the DJ and club manager," the 13-year-old said.
The seventh grader described one of the times she said Jean took her Club Madonna earnings.
Lt. Alfonso: What did he tell you when he took it?
13-year-old: He didn't tell me nothing, he just took it out of my bag and I was like, 'Why are you taking my money for?' And he was like, 'Who's going to pay for my bills' and stuff and I was like, 'You supposed to pay, it's your house,' and he was like, 'Oh yeah, oh yeah, who's going to take care of my kids?' I'm like, 'You going to take care of your kids.' He was like, 'Oh, oh, oh yeah.' He took the money, slapped it in my face, he slapped the money in my face…"
She also said he punched her, stabbed her with a fork and got angry if she didn't meet a daily monetary "quota."
13-year-old: He said, 'If you leave we'll come after you.'
Earlier in the interview Lt. Alfonso asked, "Why didn't you leave?"
13-year-old: Cause they locked the gate.
Lt. Alfonso: How many weeks were you there?
13-year-old: Like three and a half.
Crime scene photos of the home snapped by detectives executing a search warrant show multiple surveillance cameras inside and outside the house.
There are also pictures of a condom, guns, exotic clothing, cash and bags of marijuana.
Lt. Alfonso: You saw them sell drugs?
13-year-old: Yeah, I saw the drugs.
Lt. Alfonso: You saw the drugs, what were they?
13-year-old: There was crack, it was white. They put them in like little bags and they had weed.
She goes on to say, "I know what weed looks like, so they had weed, they had weed in the freezer and they had crack."
During the interview the 13-year-old admits to smoking marijuana nearly every day and originally telling the four charged with human trafficking of a minor that she was 18.
At one point she seems to imply that a friend of her mother knows one of the defendants. That person, she explained, did tell one of the defendants that she was 13, to which she said, "I was like, 'No they lying, I'm 18.'"
Family and friends of defendant Jean vehemently deny the young teen's allegations. They portrayed Jean as the victim of a streetwise runaway who is lying as revenge for Jean telling the young girl she had to leave the house.
Local 10 obtained a bus ticket that appears to show Jean was in Tampa for several days while the incidents were taking place.
His fiancé, a civil engineer who lives in Tampa, told Local 10 he was with her over the Christmas holiday.
The 13-year-old told Lt. Alfonso that Jean left the house for about a week.
13-year-old: (He) said I am going to get some connections for you. He wanted me to have sex with people.
Jean's attorney, Zeljka Bozanic, told Local 10, "Mr. Jean is anxious to address these charges in court and clear his name. We will defend these allegations vigorously and I am confident that my client will be exonerated."
As for Club Madonna, the state attorney's office has yet to file criminal charges against its owner or managers.
The seventh grade girl worked at Club Madonna under the name "Peaches" and was never asked to provide identification to prove her age at the club, according to an arrest affidavit.
Last month owner Leroy Griffith told Local 10, "I was surprised by the things they were saying in the search warrant. She must have walked in with a friend without signing in, or going to the manager and stuff like that. Whether she -- I don't even know if she performed here or not, through I hear that she did. I feel bad about it."
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