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Family Asks For Help: 16yo Latina Was Sex-Trafficked, Now Faces "Life In Prison" For The Murder Of Her Abuser

Culture & Community By O. DELGADO41819 views
Family Asks For Help: 16yo Latina Was Sex-Trafficked, Now Faces "Life In Prison" For The Murder Of Her Abuser

She was forced into sex work with drugs and threats against her family. Now, a 16-year-old Latina is facing "life in prison," held responsible as an accessory to murder because her trafficker killed her buyer.

"Please consider helping us raise a legal defense that will fight for her life." Donate HERE

Zephaniah Trevino's mother and father are desperate. Their 16-year-old daughter is facing life in prison after enduring devastating trauma at the hands of a man who forced her into sex work.

"Henry and Crystal Trevino contacted me about their young daughter a couple of months ago," writes Justin Moore on Instagram.

"What they told me was heartwrenching. Child sex trafficking is an issue that exists right under our noses.

There are countless stories about children who are forced into sex trafficking and are then held culpable for their trafficker’s crimes."

Primarily, it is black and Latino victims of child sex-trafficking who face criminal charges and prison sentences.

 

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

Friends, Henry and Crystal Trevino contacted me about their young daughter a couple of months ago. What they told me was heartwrenching. Child sex trafficking is an issue that exists right under our noses. There are countless stories about children who are forced into sex trafficking and are then held culpable for their trafficker’s crimes. I’m not allowed to say much about this case outside of what the Trevino’s have shared, but I along with @itsjasonflom vow to fight for this family as the criminal justice system endeavors to tear them apart. Two action items to assist: 1) See ☝????the link⛓ in my bio to learn how you can assist. 2) Please share this post on your page with the hashtags #endchildsextrafficking #freezephi

A post shared by Justin A. Moore, Esq (@justin.a.moore) on

 

"I’m not allowed to say much about this case outside of what the Trevino’s have shared, but I...vow to fight for this family as the criminal justice system endeavors to tear them apart," Moore concludes, before encouraging people to share his post and donate to Zephaniah's legal defense fund.

Zephaniah's parents shared a statement about their daughter's circumstances on her defense fund page. The Trevinos write that their daughter was groomed and traumatized by an older man, who used drugs and threats to force the teenager into sex work.

"Ultimately, this cycle of abuse ended with her trafficker killing a man that Zephi was being forced to perform sexual acts with." Now, Zephaniah is being held responsible for that death.

Below is the full statement:

 "Our daughter’s name is Zephaniah “Zephi” Trevino. She is 16 years old and is a junior in high school. She is currently charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery.

Our daughter was raised in a faith-based home surrounded by a loving family. She is the youngest of four siblings. She lives in Grand Prairie,Texas and is a loving and beautiful young lady. Before meeting this tragic circumstance, she was outgoing and involved with many activities such as her church worship team, select fastpitch softball, and had recently made the drill team at her high school. Everyone who had met our daughter could feel the impact of her loving and caring personality. She loves hard and feels deeply.

Her life drastically changed when she was introduced her to drugs by an abusive boyfriend. Her life spiraled fast, she began to change mentally and physically; ran away often. In May of 2019 she met an adult that began grooming her for sex trafficking through coercion by using physical threats, threats of death against her family and drugs.

Zephi had been forced, a number of times, to participate in sexual acts with adults by her trafficker. Ultimately, this cycle of abuse ended with her trafficker killing a man that Zephi was being forced to perform sexual acts with.

She has been in the Henry Wade Juvenile Justice facility since last fall awaiting trial. Even though the District Attorney’s office has been made aware that Zephi was being forced to perform sexual acts on adults due to threats of harm by her trafficker if she tried to leave him.

The public defender that was assigned to Zephi’s case is pushing her to take a plea deal with a long sentence rather than defending her at trial. However, our daughter maintains her innocence.
 
In response, we are having to gather funds to pay for a legal defense to fight on our daughter’s behalf. She has been victimized by sex trafficking and is now being charged for a crime that she did not commit. The person who committed the crime is the same person who was victimizing our daughter with physical threats.

Please consider helping us raise a legal defense that will fight for her life. 

Henry & Crystal Trevino"

If you'd like to donate to Zephaniah's Legal Defense Fund, click HERE, and, please, spread the word.

Child sex trafficking is very real, and more widespread than we realize. The trauma and consequences are horrific.

Victims should not end up behind bars.

 

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