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Girl, 14, held in motel as sex slave

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June 06,2007
JEONJU ― A middle school student barely into her teens was held prisoner for six months in a motel and forced to serve hundreds of men as a prostitute. The 14-year-old girl was enslaved by an acquaintance and two accomplices, according to North Jeolla police.
The three suspects were detained yesterday and the police are expanding the investigation to include the 800 men believed to have had sex with the victim.
The second-year middle school student ran away from her home in Mokpo at the end of October and quit her studies, police said. After leaving home, she encountered a 20-year-old woman, identified only by the last name Jin, who lured her to a motel in Gwangju and kept her there against her will. The victim and the suspect were friendly because Jin’s mother owns a restaurant where the victim’s mother works.
Jin and two of her friends used the girl as the center of a prostitution scheme. From November 2006 until her escape on May 22, the victim serviced clients found through Internet sites and was forced to engage in sex up to five times a night. She was required to earn at least 600,000 won ($647) a day from prostitution, police said, and she was often beaten by her captors with iron pipes and fists. The trio earned about 120 million won from the girl, police said.
The suspects stayed in an adjacent room at the motel to keep an eye on the victim during the ordeal, police said, but she escaped on May 22. She contacted an uncle in Jeonju, and the police were finally notified. The three suspects went to the home of the uncle, apparently intent on recapturing their victim. Police were waiting and the three were arrested.
“There was a customer who was a doctor and he saw the bruises on my body, but he still returned 10 times,” the victim was quoted as saying by the police. “Men saw my bruises and wounds, but they did not care. I told them that I was a prisoner, but they just turned away. They were afraid because they were engaged in the sex trade.”
The police said they have obtained 800 phone numbers of men suspected of having sex with the girl. About 40 of them have already been questioned and face charges for having sex with a minor. The police said they will expand the investigation to include all suspected customers.
The police said the victim’s customers ranged from doctors and teachers to students and soldiers.
One of the men questioned is a university professor.
“I did not know she was a minor. Please do not let my university know about this,” the professor was quoted as saying.


By Jang Dae-suk JoongAng Ilbo/ Ser Myo-ja Staff Writer [myoja@joongang.co.kr]




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