FRAZER, Pa. (AP) — A 14-year-old girl’s message on Facebook saying “I don’t want to be here anymore” helped secure her rescue and led to arrests in what authorities call a sex trafficking ring in southeastern Pennsylvania, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The Chester County prosecutor’s office said the girl was rescued May 30 from a Malvern convenience store parking lot after being held for weeks at various locations. Investigators allege that she and an 18-year-old were found to be victims of a sex trafficking group.
Prosecutors and East Whiteland Township police arrested three men on charges of running the alleged organization and five other people on charges of having paid for sex with the victims. District Attorney Deborah Ryan said authorities are trying to determine if there were other victims.
Authorities said the 14-year-old, missing from Maryland since early May, sent a message to a friend saying she was being held against her will and sold for sex. The friend alerted police. Authorities said the victim sent a Facebook message to her mother May 28 saying she “didn’t want to be here anymore” and asked to be picked up at the parking lot. Her mother called police and the girl was rescued in the early morning hours of May 30, officials said.
Witnesses interviewed in that case led to discovery of the 18-year-old victim who said she was picked up in Virginia and held against her will for about three weeks in February and March in the East Whiteland Township area before she was able to escape, prosecutors said.
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