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In a disturbing North Carolina case this week, a 12-year-old girl allegedly was forced into prostitution, raped repeatedly and given an abortion over a two-year period.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports Flora Riano Gonzalez, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was convicted on charges of forcing the young girl into prostitution while she was between the ages of 12 and 14. On Friday, a judge sentenced Gonzalez to up to 16 years and 6 months in prison, the report states.
Gonzalez allegedly reported the girl’s sexual abuse herself after the girl became pregnant; authorities said Gonzalez hoped to get the girl a free, taxpayer-funded abortion because she was a sexual assault victim, according to the report.
Here’s more from the report:
According to testimony and closing arguments, Gonzalez forced the girl into prostitution when she was 12 in 2011. Gonzalez took the girl to Armando Graciano, who operated a laundromat.
Graciano raped the girl and then took the girl to other adult men, who also raped her in exchange for money, Assistant District Attorney Kia Chavious said in closing arguments.
Graciano is facing pending charges of felonious restraint, two counts of indecent liberties with a child, statutory rape, human trafficking and sexual servitude. Chavious said Gonzalez transported the girl to various locations so that the girl could have sex with adult men for money.
When the girl was 14, she became pregnant, and Gonzalez reported the sexual assault to Winston- Salem Police Department in an effort to get the girl a free abortion. The girl also had contracted chlamydia, a sexually- transmitted disease, Chavious said. … Lisa Costner, Gonzalez’s attorney, said in closing arguments that there was no evidence that Gonzalez was prostituting the child or that she knew the girl was being sexually assaulted until the girl became pregnant. She also questioned the girl’s credibility.
Abortion and sexual abuse often are connected. Sometimes the abuser pressures or forces the victim to have an abortion to cover up the crime.
Earlier this month, LifeNews reported another case where a Wisconsin man was charged with raping multiple children and performing a “crude” abortion on one of them after she became pregnant.
Research indicates human trafficking victims often are forced or coerced into aborting their unborn babies.A survey by the U.S. Department of State found that 55 percent of sex trafficking victims had at least one abortion, with 30 percent having multiple abortions. More than half said they did not choose to abort their unborn child; their traffickers ordered them to, according to the survey.
Many sexual abuse victims who become pregnant say the abortion only added to their trauma, according to research by the Elliot Institute.
In 2015, a sexual abuse victim told a British court that her abuser forced her to abort her unborn child. While the woman admitted that she had no desire to be a mother, she said she would not have aborted her baby – “because I didn’t want to go through all that.”