MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Two people who were charged with forcing a 13-year-old girl into prostitution have accepted plea deals on lesser charges.
“I just felt betrayed,” said Marlen San Vincente.
Betrayed after being misled by the 13-year-old runaway is the only thing San Vincente said she is guilty of doing.
“She seemed pretty cool. We got along well,” San Vincente added.
“Any inclination she was 13 or just younger?” asked CBS4 reporter Summer Knowles. “No, I mean she acted pretty grown and seemed to have been around the block.”
At the time, the 13-year-old was living with San Vincente in a house where she eventually told police she had been held captive and forced to have sex with adult men.
When detectives went to that house, they arrested four people inside for forcing the girl into prostitution and forcing her to strip at Club Madonna, an all nude strip club on South Beach.
Three of the four people arrested have since been offered plea deals. San Vincente now only faces a much lesser charge of interfering with the custody of a minor.
“Yeah, I guess it’s a relief, but at the same time I wished it never happened,” San Vincente said.
“I had no idea of her age or what she was doing or had been doing,” said Vibert Jean.
Jean was one of the four arrested and initially faced more than 180-years in prison for his alleged involvement with the child sex trafficking ring, but instead walked is now only charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor with no jail time and no probation.
“What would you have done differently?” asked Knowles. “Call 911,” said Jean.
“I think it’s a big victory, but not only a victory but a relief that an innocent man didn’t get wrongly convicted based on some girls lies,” said Jean’s attorney.
Knowles continued with her questions. “How do you feel?”
“Angry, embarrassed and mostly just embarrassed to be titled as a dude who was messing around with a 13-year-old or trafficking a girl. That’s not my thing, I wouldn’t do that,” said Jean.
Jean and San Vincente feel their names have been tarnished by this ordeal, and are really just anxious to get on with their lives.
“Of course, start over. I mean, I have no choice,” said San Vincente.
“When it first happened, people pointing fingers at you and giving you all of these kind of looks telling you, you’re a child abuser. I have two children and two girls at that. That hurts. So, it was very hard,” said San Vincente.