Man Accused Of Sex Trafficking Minors Busted In Ft. Laud.
South Florida Crime
FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The FBI says a run down house in Fort Lauderdale with drapes and hurricane shutters obscuring the crimes inside was house of horrors for several female teenage runaways as young as 14 years old.
The feds charged Van Lawson Williams with turning the girls into prostitutes and plying them with drugs.
Williams, 49, was taken into custody Wednesday by the FBI.
Thursday night CBS 4 News spoke exclusively to a woman whose daughter was one of the victims.
We’re calling the woman Sara and we’re protecting her identity because the FBI says her 14 year old daughter wound up in Williams’ clutches.
“He had her having sex with other men,” Sara told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “Men in their 50’s, 40’s and having her have sex for 20-30 dollars. He was beating her with a gun. He had her smoking crack.”
Sara says her daughter ran away from foster care earlier this year after a violent episode with her and met Williams through friends. Sara said her daughter called her during her time with Williams and tried to get away but couldn’t.
“Every time she try to (leave) he take the phone from her and we never know exactly where she at,” Sara said.
The wait was excruciating, Sara said.
Finally, Sara says her daughter escaped after arguing with Williams over drugs.
Sara says her daughter is getting therapy and is drug free.
The FBI also says Williams preyed on at least two other girls in his home which is across the street from an in-home day care. The FBI says they have recordings of Williams trying to recruit underage girls for prostitution.
According to the criminal complaint, Williams met the girls in his neighborhood and invited them to stay with him at his home. He would promise them food and shelter, the feds say.
Williams would then convince the girls to work as prostitutes, according to the affidavit.
Williams would allegedly charge the prostitution customers a fee for “renting” one of his bedrooms and would collect all the money the customers paid to have sex with the minor girls.
Sara says the FBI should also try to find the men who paid to have sex with underage girls.
“For these guys to go around having sex with these little girls is just disgusting,” Sara said.
Sara believes Williams should never be allowed his freedom again.
“He don’t need to be out here in society,” Sara said. “This is not for him. He need to be locked away forever.”
A court records check shows Williams has a long rap sheet dating back to 1987 and a long list of aliases.
Williams made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday and will have a bond hearing on May 24th.