ALEXANDRIA, Va. Federal prosecutors have charged 11 alleged members of the MS-13 street gang with sex trafficking and other charges after they say a 13-year-old runaway was repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat and forced into prostitution in northern Virginia.
Charges were unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Alexandria. A 48-page FBI affidavit says the 13-year-old girl ran away from a group home in Fairfax in August 2018 with a 16-year-old friend who was connected to MS-13.
A child trafficking task force found the 13-year-old girl nearly two months later at an apartment in Mount Rainier, Maryland.
The girl told authorities that she was twice beaten on her backside and legs 26 times with a baseball bat once as an initiation to the gang, and once as a punishment for talking to rival gang members and allegedly stealing from fellow gang members.
The girl reported that she could barely walk after the beatings and still suffers pain.
The affidavit states that multiple gang members had sex with her, and that the gang prostituted her on multiple occasions in northern Virginia and Maryland.
Court records indicate 10 of the defendants were arrested Tuesday and made initial appearances, in which a magistrate ordered that they have attorneys appointed on their behalf and they be held pending a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger, whose office is prosecuting the case, was scheduled to hold a news conference about the charges Tuesday afternoon.
Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor