Parents arrested, father accused of prostituting 7-year-old daughter | KOB 4
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Parents arrested, father accused of prostituting 7-year-old daughter

Kai Porter, Marian Camacho
May 04, 2018 08:53 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – An Albuquerque father is accused of prostituting his 7-year-old daughter in exchange for drugs. The little girl also told investigators her dad would make her steal people's wallets because her family needed money for food and water.

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James Stewart, 37, faces five charges in all – human trafficking, criminal sexual contact of a minor, child abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and promoting prostitution. He was arrested late Wednesday night at an Albuquerque motel.

The girl's mother, Teri Sanchez, was booked late Thursday night. She's been charged with child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Spokesman for the attorney general's office, James Hallinan, provided KOB with a statement in regards to Sanchez's arrest.

“Attorney General Balderas can confirm special agents from his office arrested Teri Sanchez last night in connection with an ongoing investigation and she is currently in custody at MDC.” 

Authorities accused the father of forcing his daughter to perform sex acts on both men and women.Special agents with the New Mexico Attorney General's Office began investigating on April 18 after a nurse at the girl's school told them she believed the 7-year-old student was a sexual assault victim.

School staff noticed numerous troubling signs. According to court documents, the girl would regularly fall asleep in class and said "Mom made me hustle last night" when asked why.

One day, the girl showed up to school wearing what a teacher described as overtly sexually provocative with high-heel dress shoes, had press-on nails, wore makeup, and had her hair "done."

Last November, the teacher noticed blood in the girl's underwear after she showed up to class smelling like urine.

The girl and her 8-year old brother hadn't attended school since March 20.

Investigators learned the girl and her family were homeless and had recently checked out of a hotel off I-25. The girl and her brother were placed in Children Youth and Families Department custody last Tuesday when investigators finally tracked them down with their mom.

According to the criminal complaint, the girl told investigators Stewart would make her perform sex acts on his friends and "in exchange for performing the sexual acts on these men and women, her father receives 'weed and pipes and other stuff.'"

The girl also said her mom would hit her and force her to "panhandle by herself," and her father would make her "steal people's wallets" so the family could buy food and water

."The Office of the Attorney General is still gathering evidence and investigating other parties responsible for these horrific acts," Hallinan said.

Albuquerque police have had contact with the girl's family as far back as 2012.

"It's heartbreaking to think about what this child may have allegedly been going through it's beyond comprehension," CYFD Secretary Monique Jacobson said.

Jacobson couldn't give specific details about the case, but she said she's ordered a full investigation into every interaction the agency has had with the girl's family to find out if policies and procedures were followed.

"I want to know if any interaction or investigation we've done with them was done in a thorough manner," she said. "We want to look at what else could have been done earlier in the process."

Credits

Kai Porter, Marian Camacho

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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