Oklahoma City Police arrested five more people last week in connection with a 15 year old girl who was abducted from a Dallas Mavericks game in April and subsequently trafficked for sex, bringing the total number of people arrested in the case to eight.
The teen was abducted when she went to use the restroom at a Dallas Mavericks game at American Airlines Center on April 8. She never returned to her father, who had brought her to the game.
The family reported the teen missing to the Dallas Police Department, but they refused to open an investigation into the girl’s disappearance due to a Texas Family Code law that considers all teen disappearances “unless there are circumstances which appear as involuntary such as a kidnapping or abduction.”
The Dallas Police told Fox News they filed a report and included the girl in a missing persons bulletin, but the girl’s father says the system failed his daughter. “My daughter was missing in Dallas, this is a Dallas case, but they refused to open a case for her,” he said.
With the help of a nonprofit that works to combat sex trafficking, Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative (TXCTI), Police in Oklahoma found the girl at an Extended Stay America hotel after ten days missing. She was in a hotel room with a convicted sex offender, Kenneth Nelson. The nonprofit had located nude photos of the teen on a prostitution website and tracked down her location.
Three people were arrested when the teen was discovered in late April. Kenneth Nelson, Sarah Hayes and Karen Gonzalez were charged with human trafficking and distribution of child pornography shortly after their arrests. This weekend, five more people were arrested in connection with the girl’s abduction.
Chevaun Gibson was charged with offering to engage in prostitution, Steven Hill was charged with rape, Melissa Wheeler was arrested on a robbery warrant, and both Saniya Alexander and Thalia Gibson were arrested on felony warrants.
It remains unclear how some of those arrested were connected to the girl’s case.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BALLERALERT.COM
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