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Dominican, US authorities rescue 29 sex trafficking victims including 20 minors

jailSOSUA, Dominican Republic — Twenty-nine sex trafficking victims were rescued in Sosua, Dominican Republic, March 11 following an international undercover law enforcement investigation.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Attaché Office in Santo Domingo, the Dominican National Police, the Dominican Republic’s Attorney General’s Human Smuggling and Trafficking in Person’s Unit and the Puerto Plata Prosecutor’s Office conducted the investigation leading up to the rescue.

Twenty of the 29 victims are Dominican minors between the ages of 14 and 17. The remaining nine sex trafficking victims are adults. All of the victims are female.

The rescued victims, who are minors, are in the care of the Dominican Republic’s Child Protective Services Agency.

As part of the investigation, seven Dominican nationals – two females and five males – were arrested. They’re in local custody where they will serve one year of preventative incarceration while their cases are adjudicated. Prosecutors allege the traffickers knowingly transported the victims to what they believed was a “sex party.” They also knowingly arranged for the victims to perform sexual services for adults attending the fake party.

Those arrested include: Rubén Darío Sosa, Luis Manuel Martínez Castillo, Franklin Sánchez García, Rolfi Ismael Ventura, Manuel Emilio Martínez, Idalia Luciano Ferrera and Aniberca Castro Peña.

Law enforcement did not arrest any American citizens as part of this investigation.

The Puerto Plata Prosecutor’s Office is prosecuting the Dominican nationals. If convicted, the defendants face up to 15 years imprisonment.

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