Crime

3 in Club Madonna sex trafficking case take pleas

Three of four defendants accused of forcing a 13-year-old runaway girl into prostitution and dancing nude at Club Madonna in South Beach accepted plea deals on Thursday.

Marlene San Vincente, Vilbert Jean, and DeWayne Ward all agreed to cooperate against Audelin Pierre, whom prosecutors believe was the ringleader in the sex trafficking ring.

The case drew notoriety because of the victim’s youth and the involvement of Club Madonna, the only all-nude strip club on South Beach. Its owner has waged epic legal battles with the city over its refusal to grant a liquor license.

After the high-profile arrests in January, Miami Beach temporarily shut down the strip joint. The business re-opened after agreeing to hire compliance officers to verify the age of dancers and ensure they are not being coerced into dancing.

San Vincente agreed to five years probation, while the other two agreed to jail stints of under a year on a variety of charges.

According to state attorney’s spokesman Ed Griffith, the victim “has experience continuing trauma since her recovery [and] could not go through the legal process any further.”

But prosecutors are continuing to “vigorously” pursue the case against Pierre, he said.

Pierre, 34, is facing an assortment of charges including human trafficking, procuring a minor for prostitution and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The case, investigated by Miami and Miami Beach police, is one of the most high-profile cases made by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

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