Monday, 2 May 2011

Sex slave at age 11, little girl bravely tells her horror tale to save others BY Mike Jaccarino

Yolanda Agostini is the grandmother of an 11-year-old child abducted and repeatedly raped.
Richard Harbus for News
Yolanda Agostini is the grandmother of an 11-year-old child abducted and repeatedly raped.
It's been seven months since an 11-year-old vanished from her Bronx home for five days - but horrific details of how she was turned into a sex slave are just emerging.

Lured from home by a sexual predator, the fifth-grader was pimped out to a series of men in a lower East Side flat.

"One man gave me $700, another gave me $1,000 and another gave me $500," the girl told the Daily News, which is withholding her name.

"Maybe there were five or six men, in all."

The ordeal ended after the victim managed to call her grandmother.

When the phone rang, there was silence on the other end, but Yolanda Agostini knew it was the grade-schooler.

"Talk to me," Agostini pleaded. "If it's you, please tell me where you are."

Finally, after 20 minutes, a faraway voice murmured: "Mommy, it's me. They're hurting me. Please, I need you ... I'm in a house, I don't know where."

"Get out," Agostini ordered, and the girl ran from her captors, who were sleeping in the next room, onto Delancey St.

Cops found her, and doctors at Jacobi Medical Center determined she'd been raped. The girl told her family she had been forced to have sex with strangers.

The damage has been lasting. The girl is in treatment at a Westchester clinic and comes home only on weekends.

Five-foot-four with the bearing of an adult, she has brown eyes, a round face and shoulder-length black hair. She speaks matter-of-factly, but without eye contact.

"I want them to go through pain 24 hours a day," she said tearfully of her abductors while sitting in her family's living room in a northeast Bronx housing project.

"I want someone to make them do stuff the way they made me do stuff...I want them to go through what I went through. I think about nothing but anger."

Her story illustrates the grotesque underbelly of sex trafficking in the city - the cases that don't make headlines like the ordeal of a young Bronx runaway who was pimped out to ex-New York Giant Lawrence Taylor.

"This happens more times than society is willing to admit," said Gloria Allred, the famed lawyer for the 16-year-old girl in Taylor's case. Taylor got probation.

The NYPD reported 6,544 missing-kid cases - all but 100 involving runaways - last year, the state Division of Criminal Justice Services says. It solved 6,320.

Joe Mazzilli, a private investigator and former NYPD detective, says some 40% of the hundreds of missing kid and runaway cases he's worked on involve prostitution or pornography.

"There are very few cases that involve someone as young as 10 or 11 years old," he said. "But on the flip side, once they hit 13, there are thousands of cases like that. It's so sad."

"These girls are vulnerable," said Brian Conroy, chief of the NYPD's vice enforcement division. "You can't help but feel compassion. There are other girls out there in similar straits. We have to find them."
The Bronx 11-year-old was indeed vulnerable.
She and two sisters had been placed in Agostini's care after their mother was busted for marijuana possession; their father lives in Florida.
In August 2009, after Agostini, 48, was busted for drugs, the girl and her sisters went to a foster home in Hunts Point.
That's where she met Dawud McKelvin, 30.
"The [foster parent] let her sit on the front of the building by herself and that's how she met him," Agostini said. "I guess he was walking by and approached her."
After the charges against Agostini were dropped, she got the sisters back on Dec. 1, 2009.
The granddaughter - then just 10 - was secretly seeing McKelvin, who, cops say, preyed on her sexually.
"He threatened her, told her that if she ever told us about him he would kill me, her mother and her siblings," Agostini said. "He had her manipulated very well. He bent her mind."
It went on for months - until Sept. 14, when the girl failed to come home from school.
Police were called, and helicopters searched from the sky while K-9 unit dogs sniffed Dumpsters.
"The worst thoughts go through your mind," Agostini said. "I asked God to hold her, protect her. So many things I promised God for her return."
"David," as the girl calls McKelvin, lured her into a car and "took me," she said. "He called me the day before and asked me if I wanted to come live with him."
She was taken to an apartment on W. 110th St. in Manhattan, where she was raped several times by McKelvin's cousin, Lee McKelvin, 37, court papers say.
From there, the youngster said, she was taken to the lower East Side, where she was held by a man named Frankie and two women named Tiny and Jenna.
Cops zeroed in on Dawud McKelvin, who had sent explicit photos of himself to Agostini's cell phone. He was charged with aggravated harassment but denied knowing the girl's whereabouts.
After she escaped, Dawud McKelvin was indicted on charges of rape and predatory sexual assault against a child and other crimes.
His lawyer, Jodi Morales of the Bronx Defenders, did not return calls for comment.
Lee McKelvin was indicted on charges of rape, criminal sexual assault and predatory sexual assault by a Manhattan grand jury. His Legal Aid lawyer did not return calls.
The girl prays for solace, and hopes her story can save another young victim.
"If something bad is happening, open your mouth," she cautioned. "Tell your mom. Don't be scared. Don't ever be scared."
With Rocco Parascandola, Kevin Deutsch and Melissa Grace

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