Miami-Dade County

Seven men charged with sexual battery on a 16-year-old

Branden Sands
Branden Sands

Seven men face charges for allegedly forcing a 16-year-old girl to engage in sex, prostitution and drug use for a week.

Prosecutors say the teen went missing from a Miami-Dade public school on Dec. 4 after she left school and entered an awaiting black Ford Taurus. She was then brought to various Northwest Miami-Dade locations where she was given alcohol and drugged with cocaine, marijuana and MDMA pills.

While under the influence, the teen was coerced into prostitution and told she was required to make $1,288, according to police. Over the course of the week, police said the girl was forced into sexual acts with more than 16 men, and forced to have sex with up to eight men simultaneously on at least two occasions.

Prosecutors have charged all of the suspects with sexual battery and supplying a controlled substance to a minor. They have been identified as Cornelius Edwards, 33, Mark Evans, 38, Jerome Grace, 42, Craig Hill, 29, Branden Sands, 24, Derrick Powell, 43, and his son, Derrick Powell Jr, 18. They were arrested Friday evening.

“The investigation is going to continue,” said Ed Griffith, spokesman for Miami-Dade state attorney’s office. “We are trying to discover enough for additional charges.”