Hearing for parents accused of prostituting 7-year-old to continue Monday

News

A hearing to keep two parents accused of abusing and forcing their 7-year-old into prostitution behind bars until trial will continue Monday. 

Prosecutors called three witnesses Friday, including a teacher from the girl’s school who is now her foster parent. 

Friday’s hearing for Teri Sanchez and James Stewart lasted nearly five hours. 

The teacher told the court when the girl was coming to school they had to give her clothes and food daily because of her condition. 

“She looked not kept. Her clothes were never clean and her hair never done and she was always tired,” the teacher said. 

The teacher, who is not being identified, says she’s fostering the 7-year-old and her two brothers. 

Last November, her teacher said the 7-year-old had dried blood in her underwear. Recently, the nurse at Lew Wallace Elementary called the police, suspecting the homeless student was a victim of sexual abuse. 

In Friday’s detention hearing set for Teri Sanchez and James Stewart, the special agent with the Attorney General’s office who investigated the case testified. 

The agent says they followed the family for days while they were living out of a motel, watching groups of men make trips back and forth into the two rooms the family had rented. 

“They would go in for a little while and then they would leave and that’s very typical with human trafficking investigations to observe,” the agent said. “We observed anywhere from nine to 14 individuals at a time.” 

The 7-year-old told investigators her father forced her to fondle his friends in exchange for drugs. 

She also said her mom would dress her up and take her to “secret parties” where women stripped. 

The judge decided since there was so much evidence presented Friday, that the hearing would continue into Monday. 

CYFD has admitted it has had 14 interactions with the father and 21 with the mother over the years. 

Four CYFD employees have been suspended for their handling of the family. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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