Single mother lured girls into prostitution ring

At least 9 girls, ages 14-16 from poor families in Gush Dan region, lured into sex trade by suspect, police say.

prostitution (photo credit: Reuters)
(photo credit: Reuters)
A single mother from south Tel Aviv lured at least nine at-risk girls into prostitution over the past two years, teaching them how to work the trade and putting them in touch with customers, Tel Aviv Police reported on Monday morning.
Police from the Yiftach subdistrict said they believe other teenage girls were drawn into the sex trade by the woman over the past two years.
Insp. Yigal Dayan, head of the investigation, said the girls – all between the ages of 14 and 16 – were not subjected to physical violence by the male customers or the woman, though they are still investigating allegations that one of the girls was raped by a client.
Altogether, five suspects have been arrested thus far; Other than the woman, the rest are men from cities across central Israel, from Taiba to Rehovot.
Dayan said some of them completely denied the charges, while others said they did not know the girls were underage, or that they did know but that the sex acts were consensual.
The 26-year-old woman at the center of the case faces charges of luring minors to prostitution, but does not face any charges of pandering, as she did not demand the girls hand over the money they made from their customers.
When asked why she led the girls into prostitution if she was not looking to make money off it, Dayan said police believe that she was initially trying to do a favor for a young Arab man who then told his friends, and that she continued to play the role of of middleman without making any profit for herself.
Dayan said most of the girls were from poor families living in disadvantaged neighborhoods of south Tel Aviv and other cities in the southern Gush Dan region. At first the girls would be enticed into the trade with gifts and cash, Dayan said, and the woman would then show them how to work the job and turn over customers quickly.
He added that the girls charged between NIS 200-400 per client, and that most made a few thousand shekels a month from the trade.
On Monday, one of the girls, 18-year-old “Aleph,” spoke of how she became part of the ring four years ago, when she was only a 14-year-old high school student.
Aleph, a tall, striking young woman, said that she and a friend began hanging out with older men, and looking back now she realizes they were both naive girls getting dragged into a world where they did not belong.
I always had the mind of someone much older than myself, Aleph explained, mentioning a previous boyfriend who was 36 years old.
Aleph said that one of her friends introduced her to the woman at the center of the affair. The woman called her and the friend, Aleph said, and had them accompany an Israeli-Arab man in his car to a rural area of lightly forested sand dunes, where he offered them money to perform sexual acts. She said she did not agree to do so, but later did become involved with a number of men.
Aleph’s story reads like that of an ignored teenage girl looking for attention and affection from older men, not simply money.
She said she was living with her father at the time and that one of the men was her father’s age. He would spend time with her at her father’s house and even spend the night there with her father’s knowledge – yet her father never got involved. She added that her mother knew about the situation and asked her to stop, but never went to the police.
Aleph said she came from a poor home, and that she was really seeking what was missing at home.
“What I didn’t have at home I got elsewhere,” Aleph said.
Her hands shaking, Aleph said she came to speak about her experience on Monday in order to tell parents “to take this to heart, to keep your eyes open and pay attention to your children. It’s very easy for them to get to a very dark place and harder to get out of.”