Officials in Miami Beach have suspended the business license for a local strip club after police officials say that a 13 year old was forced to strip for money and forced into prostitution.
The 13 year old girl, known only as D.J., ran away from home on December 10. Her mother found her out on the streets in January 6, near North Miami Ave.
Between December 10th and January 6th, D.J. somehow ended up at Club Madonna, a fully nude strip club.
According to reports, a man named AP picked the girl up after she ran away from home and brought her to the Miami home of Vilbert Jean, 37, Marlene San Vincente, 22, and DeWayne Ward, 18. The trio demanded that D.J. pay to stay there.
AP brought a man to the home and D.J. had sex with him for $80. D.J. refused to prostitute herself after that, so San Vincente made arrangements for D.J. to work at the strip club under the name “Peaches.”
San Vincente, also a stripper, trained the thirteen year old on working as a stripper.
Police state that D.J. “was never asked, nor did she ever provide the Madonna club management any identification to verify her age.”
The pimps took all the money she made from stripping, sometimes as much as $500 a night.
Like many victims of human trafficking, D.J. was threatened with violence to warn her from trying to tell anyone or escape.
Jean made it known that he kept an AK-47 in his bedroom under a pile of clothes and Ward showed her his .40 caliber pistol, and told her he would “get her” if she ever “got away.”
She also told police that the men dealt cocaine and marijuana.
According to police, she was forced to have sex with Ward on at least six occasions.
Jean, San Vincente, and Ward were all charged with human trafficking, lewd and lascivious conduct on a person under 16, delivering a controlled substance to a person under 18 and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
They face life in prison if convicted.
The club’s owner, Leroy Griffith, and his attorney, say that they had no knowledge of the girl ever performing in Griffith’s club.
Neither the club’s owner or management has been charged in the incident yet.
A fourth person, Audelin Pierre, 34, was charged later. Pierre is described as the “the recruiter” of the human trafficking ring. He was charged with Human trafficking, procuring a person under 18 for prostitution, contributing to delinquency/dependency of a child, and other charges.
Since her arrest, San Vincente claims that she didn’t know the girl was 13, saying she was told D.J. was an 18 year old with kids of her own. She denies that D.J. was forced to do it, saying she did it “voluntarily” and “there were no guns.”
City manager Jimmy Morales shut down the club for six months, saying “If it is so easy for human traffickers to kidnap a 13-year-old girl and bring her to the club without anyone noticing, how can we be sure that this is not going to happen again to other young girls in our community?”
Source: Miami Herald