Friday, February 6, 1998

Kim Pemberton

p. B7.

Family fears 12-year-old girl is being used for sex

Vancouver youngster, missing since Jan. 25, was reportedly spotted with an older man.

A 12-year-old Vancouver girl is missing and her family fears she is being sexually exploited by older males.

They are also concerned by a report she was spotted at the home of a Richmond man who was later charged with numerous sex offences involving children.

The girl has been missing since Jan. 25 and had been questioned earlier last month by police in connection with the case of Frank Kim. Her family said she denied having been at his home.

However, one of Kim's alleged child victims claims the girl was there for one the week before his arrest by Richmond RCMP on Jan. 2.

The 24-year-old was charged with 17 offences, including making child pornography and sexually touching a child under the age of 14.

"We're really really worried because her name was mentioned with Frank Kim," said the girl's sister. "This was the first time we heard of this guy. One of her friends said she was there."

The girl was not at Kim's home at the time of his arrest. Five other underage girls were brought in to the Richmond RCMP detachment along with an underage boy. They were between the ages of 12 and 17.

"She's really naive. That's what really concerns me," said the sister of the missing girl.

She said this is the second time that the child has gone missing. The first time was for two days on Jan. 12.

She said they believe she may be influenced by an older man. She said one of her friends spotted her sister recently with a man who appeared to have taken her on a shopping spree.

She said her friend yelled to the man: "How can you do this, she's only 12!" but wasn't able to reach them before he took off with the girl.

"I really don't know her motive behind this," said the sister. "My mom is getting social assistance and I think my sister can't understand why my mom can't just give her money whenever she wants."

A community worker from the Downtown Eastside said it's critically important to find young people early before they become too entrenched in street life.

Debby Mearns, of the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Safety Office, said every day they hear about missing kids, and it's troubling when they are finding more and more are as young as this 12-year-old.

What was said

"She's really naive. That's what really concerns me.

"My mom is getting social assistance and I think my sister can't understand why my mom can't just give her money whenever she wants."

Sister of the missing girl

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Created: March 21, 1998
Last modified: April 5, 1998

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