Mother of 12-year-old sex-trafficking victim to remain in custody

Mother of 12-year-old sex-trafficking victim to remain in custody

An Athens court on Tuesday rejected a request for release from pretrial custody of the mother of a 12-year-old victim of rape and sexual exploitation.

The decision was unanimous, with the judges on the Council of Misdemeanors ruling that the 37-year-old woman is facing serious charges, including of profiting from the pimping of her daughter and other related offenses.

The 37-year-old was arrested in October on suspicion that she may have been involved in a sex-trafficking operation run by her employer, who had allegedly been pimping her underage daughter via an online dating platform, forcing her to have sex with dozens of men in exchange for money.

The 12-year-old has also reportedly accused the chief suspect in the case – a shopkeeper in the downtown Athens district of Kolonos where the girl also worked occasionally stacking shelves and cleaning – of raping her himself and forcing her to have sex with his friends.

The 37-year-old mother is one of 10 people currently in custody in relation to the case. She has five more underage children and a son, aged 18. All the younger children have been removed from the family home by social services and are in care, with the 12-year-old receiving specialist psychological support.

Dozens more suspects are being investigated after lists believed to contain the names of men who had sex with the child were discovered by investigators.

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