• July 16, 2024

Marine Arrested for Sex Trafficking of Missing Teenage Girl

 Marine Arrested for Sex Trafficking of Missing Teenage Girl

A 14-year-old girl who was reported missing last month has returned home after being discovered at Camp Pendleton’s barracks.

According to reports, the girl, who has special needs, escaped her house on June 9.

The girl’s grandma reported her missing on June 13, according to the SDSO of San Diego County.

About two weeks later, at Camp Pendleton, military police located the girl and alerted the sheriff’s office.

A Marine was detained, and now there is a probable sex slavery inquiry underway.

The girl’s family alleges she was trafficked and sold to a Marine for sex.

 

From ABC 7:

The girl was not hospitalized, but it was unclear if she sustained any injuries.

Since Camp Pendleton is federal property, Naval Criminal Investigative Services is handling the investigation. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force are supporting NCIS with the investigation, sheriff’s officials said.

On June 28, a Marine was taken into custody by military police on the base and questioned by NCIS personnel about his involvement with the girl.

Meanwhile, the girl’s aunt, Casaundra Perez, posted a video to TikTok in which she said that her family was afraid of retaliation from the military and from the man she believes trafficked her niece.

“Out of respect for the investigative process, NCIS does not comment on, confirm details relating to, or confirm the existence of ongoing investigations,” the agency said in a statement.

“SDSO spokesperson Lt. David LaDieu told NBC 7 that the only involvement their department had was recovering the juvenile because she was listed as missing from their jurisdiction,” NBC 7 stated.

“However, Aquino confirmed SDSO was supporting the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) with their investigation, along with the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force,” the outlet added.

NBC 7 added:

A photo shared publicly on social media on July 2 showed a handcuffed Marine being escorted by military police on base on June 28. Capt. Chuck Palmer of the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Logistics Group confirmed a Marine was taken into custody that day and questioned by NCIS about his involvement with the girl.

“We can confirm that a Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group, was taken into custody for questioning by Naval Criminal Investigative Services on June 28, 2023, as seen on social media July 2, 2023,” Palmer told NBC 7. “The incident is under investigation, and we will continue to cooperate with NCIS and appropriate authorities.”

The Marine, who has not been identified or officially charged as of Thursday, remains in the custody of his command, according to Palmer.

“The security looked her in the face and allowed this man to bring a minor onto base,” Perez, the teen’s aunt, said. “Due to her age, she could not have given this consent.”

NBC 7 aired this video report:

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