Several teenage gang members have been arrested on suspicion of forcing girls as young as 12 into a prostitution ring, police said Tuesday.
After befriending the girls and getting them high, Varrio Central gang members took them to some regular customers and then sought other men by trolling apartment complexes, offering the girls’ services for $50, Fort Worth police Lt. Ken Dean said.
The gang apparently targeted runaways and other girls with unstable homes, and if the girls refused to have sex for money the members beat and sexually assaulted them and threatened their families, Dean said.
“The age of the victims and suspects is the surprising part of it,” Dean said. “To have such young individuals in a somewhat organized business, a forced prostitution ring, is somewhat alarming and such a horrendous crime against the 12- to 16-year-old girls.”Detectives found five victims, ages 12 to 16, but believe there may be more. Those girls are back with relatives or in other safe places, he said, declining to elaborate.