Florida

A teen who wanted to run away was raped and kept as sex slave, cops say

Marco Orrego’s facing sex trafficking and child pornography charges in federal court.
Marco Orrego’s facing sex trafficking and child pornography charges in federal court.

A federal court indictment accuses a South Florida man of being a predator in a case involving a 16-year-old girl.

The girl told Boynton Beach police she called the 31-year-old Marco Orrego in May to help her run away from home. And Orrego did, she said, sending an Uber to take her to his apartment.

There, she said, Orrego raped her; pressured her to return to prostitution, said he would kill her if she didn’t turn over all her earnings, and raped her again when he thought she held back $3. Boynton Beach police say he recorded some of the raping on his iPhone.

The charges in U.S. District Court include sex trafficking a minor, enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity, producing child pornography and distributing child pornography If convicted, Orrego could get life in prison.

According to police, they found the girl, whose father had reported her missing, after the father learned she had been listed on Backpage.com as an escort and was being kept at a local hotel.

When she and police found each other, the girl told them her version of how she’d fallen into being Orrego’s sexworker slave. According to the police account:

After running away early in 2017 at 15, she met Orrego when he answered her Backpage.com advertising sexual services. He left his cellphone number with her, which she kept even after deciding to return home.

In early May, she changed her mind about returning home and called Orrego from her school. Once at his apartment, she said, he took her to his bedroom. Though she said she didn’t want to have sex, the five-seven, 190-pound Orrego undressed her and did so anyway, acccording to police.

Then, he asked her to start selling herself on Backpage. The Sam’s Club customer service employee said he needed money and they could split the proceeds in half. She said, again, her initial refusal wilted before Orrego’s numerous requests, police said.

He took new photos of the girl in red lacy underwear for a Backpage ad. Upon posting it, she said they Uber’d to a hotel, where Orrego checked her into Room 209. He then pulled out a large knife and told her she’d give him all the illegal money made or he’d kill her, according to police. Feeling she lacked options for people or places that would provide safe harbor from Orrego, she complied.

She said she saw three men during her time in Room 209. When she tried to keep $3 for snacks from the hotel, she told police that Orrego snatched it, pushed her in the chest several times with “Gimme my money,” then raped her.

According to the police report, a sick feeling after the rape propelled her from the room to a doctor and eventually, police. Police say they used her cellphone to lure Orrego to a 7-Eleven near her school, where they arrested him.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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