The story of Panyia Vang is a heart breaking one, but what makes it worse is that its not unusual.
The Star Tribune reports that between 2010 and 2014 there were 2,440 human trafficking convictions in the United States.
Vang’s story which begins in Laos at the age of 14 when a man lured the girl to a hotel room on the promise of making her a music star, and according to her attorney, raped her.
Vang became pregnant and ended up marrying the man believed to be the father, Thiawachu Prataya.
Vang moved to Minnesota with her father to be closer to the child. Prataya is accused of threatening to withhold visitation rights from Vang unless she had sex with him. Vang is now suing Prataya for $450,000 in monetary damages.
Prataya’s attorney declined to comment, but in court papers says Prataya paid the family $5,000 to marry Vang, didn’t know she was under aged and said the sex was consensual.
“I was raped when I was 14 in Laos, and when I escaped, I was recaptured, bleeding and crying, and taken back to be raped again,” Vang said. “I thought my body, my life and my future were ruined forever.”
You can read the latest on her case and about the problem of sex trafficking in the Star Tribune.