Teenage girl rescued from sex ring dies

 

A teenage girl ended her own life two years after she was rescued from a sex trafficking ring.

Leticia "Letty" Serrano of Houston was just 13 years old when she was drugged and sold to sex traffickers.

She was later found at a park in the Near Northside neighbourhood of Houston, Texas, but her family said she was never the same.

"When we got her back she was already broken and addicted at that point. The road to recovery was and is one of the hardest things for any child to overcome," her grandmother

Cynthia Rivera wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to end sex trafficking.

Leticia ‘Letty’ Serrano was a sex trafficking victim, according to her family. Picture: Facebook
Leticia ‘Letty’ Serrano was a sex trafficking victim, according to her family. Picture: Facebook

She told ABC 13 on Saturday she felt she had "let her down".

The family of Leticia is now pleading for justice and hoping to raise awareness about the prevalence of sex trafficking after the 15-year-old died by suicide on Saturday following the horrific ordeal.

Leticia, pictured with her father, Mariano Serrano, disappeared at aged 13. Sadly, the young girl took her own life on Saturday, two years after being rescued.
Leticia, pictured with her father, Mariano Serrano, disappeared at aged 13. Sadly, the young girl took her own life on Saturday, two years after being rescued.

"We as a community and the system failed this young lady and her family once. Let's not do it again," Ms Rivera wrote on Facebook.

"I ask you help us and that her death does not go in vain. No news media, no elected officials to speak for her and most of all NO JUSTICE !!!!

"We as a community and the system failed this young lady."

Leticia's father Mariano Serrano told ABC13 that he was broken and destroyed about what happened to his daughter.

Leticia’s grandmother Cynthia Rivera, together with her family, want people to know how prevalent sex trafficking is in Houston.
Leticia’s grandmother Cynthia Rivera, together with her family, want people to know how prevalent sex trafficking is in Houston.

The family also want people to know how prevalent sex trafficking is in Houston and how to help fight it.

Micah Gamboa, executive director of Elijah Rising, an organisation devoted to end sex trafficking, told ABC13 Leticia's story was "unfortunately very familiar".

According to Ms Gamboa, there's more than 300,000 trafficking victims in Texas.

 

Mariano said he was broken and destroyed about what happened to his daughter.
Mariano said he was broken and destroyed about what happened to his daughter.

"Entire cities are becoming red light districts. It's no longer just a centralised or isolated issue. It's actually spreading across the nation," Ms Gamboa told the news outlet.

She explained suicide was common among sex trafficking victims because their traffickers were rarely ever caught.

Leticia's family have started a fundraising campaign to cover the cost of funeral expenses.

 


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