Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Greg Joyce

Americans face slew of charges resulting from 11-year-old who worked street

Teenage prostitutes ply their trade on a Vancouver street. (CP/Vancouver Sun/archive)
Teenage prostitutes ply their trade on a Vancouver street. (CP/Vancouver Sun/archive)

VANCOUVER (CP) — Three U.S. residents have been charged with abducting an 11-year-old Oregon girl, plying her with drugs and forcing her to work 12-hour days as a prostitute in Vancouver, where she earned as much as $1,000 before police intervened.

"Our officers said this was the most horrific case they'd seen and the youngest victim they'd seen," Const. Anne Drennan, spokeswoman for Vancouver police, said Monday.

"She was very badly treated while on the streets."

The vice squad officer who wrote the report on the case described the girl's statement to police "as the most disturbing he's taken," said Drennan.

The girl and the three adults — two men and a woman — met in a shopping mall in Portland, Ore., some time in the last couple of weeks.

It was not immediately clear whether the three knew the girl before they met her in the mall, said Drennan.

They crossed the border Wednesday and the girl began working the streets in an area known as Vancouver's "kiddie stroll" soon after, said Drennan.

"They said they were coming up for a wedding," said Drennan.

On Saturday afternoon, city police spotted what appeared to be a young female working the area on the city's east side.

The girl told police she had been working the area for about four days and had apparently been kept awake by being given acid, speed, caffeine and the popular rave drug ecstasy.

"She might have earned about $1,000," said Drennan, adding that the girl told police she turned the money over to the three adults.

"She was very frightened and had been threatened and assaulted," said Drennan, who said the girl was given brief breaks while on the street and may have had only four hours sleep throughout.

Drennan said it was "a possibility" the girl might have worked the streets before, although she could not say for certain.

The girl, who was living in a foster home in the Portland area and was reported missing Feb. 17, has since been returned to the Oregon city.

Charged are Jabari McCrory, 26, David Martin Walker, 25, and Mistenda Mae Carter, 24, all of Portland. They are charged with abduction of a minor under the age of 14, living off the avails of prostitution, sexual interference and assault.

All three have criminal records in the United States, said Drennan.

Carter had an 18-month-old baby with her when she crossed the border and Drennan said the child was believed to be her daughter. The child was placed in the temporary care of the B.C. Children's Ministry.

The woman apparently also worked the street with the 11-year-old girl part of the time, said Drennan.

McCrory's father, John McCrory, told the Vancouver Sun the two men had attended an elite Jesuit prep school.

He said he was stunned by news of the arrest of his only child. He said the men had been missing since at least Friday.

Drennan refused to blame officers for not noticing an 11-year-old working the streets for four days.

"If you are working the streets, tracking movements can be tough," said Drennan, adding that the adults and the girl lived in different motels while they were here to try to avoid detection.

Raven Bowen, director of Prostitution Alternative Counselling and Education, agreed with Drennan.

"It's difficult to spot because they don't last long on the street (before they're picked up by a customer)," she said.

Bowen also said she was not surprised at the age of the girl, only the fact that her pimps put her on the street where she would certainly be eventually spotted by police.

"Normally, young girls are held in off-street places, trick pads, where they can't be seen," said Bowen.

Cpl. Gerry Peters, an RCMP member and part of the Provincial Prostitution Unit, said an 11-year-old girl is an "extreme example and very disturbing." He said the youngest girl working the streets to his knowledge was 12.

"In B.C. the average age of entry into prostitution is 14," he said. "It's extremely rare that a woman older than 20 would decide to work as a prostitute."

Peters was not surprised that the girl would be able to attract customers.

"There seems to be a high demand for it," he said.

There is a fairly new term — hebophile — to describe men wanting sex from young girls, he said.

"I'm told by a psychologist that a pedophile will seek the youngest child they can get their hands on, while a hebophile prefers children in the early stages of puberty."

&#copy; The Canadian Press, 2001

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