- Years old:
- I'm 27 years old
Jefry Tupas, Davao City. Marie is expecting to have a baby in February next year. It's no easy ordeal for the year-old girl who lives in a Davao City slum.
I bought a bar for her," he says, explaining that she lives in a house out back by the beach. Three weeks after the raid, Benjamin and Mama Lucy remain in jail in Manila, held as the prosecution debates what to charge them with.
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NBI doesn't have enough vehicles and they're an hour and a half late to the pre-raid planning meeting at Preda. We will fight on. Mama Lucy has cooked a of escorts for the party and heaps food onto her guests' plates. Benjamin, in a blue polo shirt, looks like he's trying to blend into the wall.
There is always another one. None of the girls admit to being underage and none turn on Benjamin. They are struggling. Benjamin, 49, is, according to his own statements, one of the countless foreigners who has moved beyond just having sex with underage girls to owning and operating a bar where girls in scantily-clad outfits flaunt their bodies for patrons.
The girls are in another one. Princess is among them. This Week. Top Stories. What Would You Do? Sections U. Virtual Reality. The philipine mustachioed Texan lazily escorts the half philipine or so girls dancing rather unenergetically around the stage's pole.
Shows Good Morning America. No one knows where the government social workers are who will be working with the girls after the raid. Alternate juror in Chauvin trial speaks out Apr 22, PM. ABC News Live.
Two months later, the girl, Marisol, agrees to sit down with Cullen and his social workers, leafing through s of photos philipine the bar. World News Tonight. Everyone he back to the Preda center to figure out the next moves. When Tuesday evening arrives, the plan starts to unravel. The View. Benjamin says he bought the bar for her about a year ago and while most still call it Crow Bar, he officially re-named it with her last name.
She's just gotten braces that week. NBI fails to find Benjamin's name on any of the bar's documentation. We'll notify you here with news about. We have got all these children to save," Father Shay philipine. Watch an encore presentation of this "Nightline" investigation on Friday, Nov. ET on ABC. Many of the bars are owned and operated by Americans, often former military escorts who either served on the base or whose ships docked here until the base was shuttered under political pressure in Most of the escorts working in the bars are indeed 18 or older. Comments 0.
Philipine, however, is nowhere to be seen. I have no problem with that. Home for 50 years to a United States naval escort, Subic Bay has become synonymous with foreigners looking for sex in the escort string of bars that line the main road along the philipine. But after several of the girls tell them that Benjamin owns the bar, the NBI agents feel they have enough to arrest him.
They quietly lead him -- without handcuffs -- to a white van. Around 15 girls are already dancing on stage as the group walks in and squeal with delight upon seeing them.
Despite the arrest, Father Shay is not savouring the moment, philipine arguing with the agents about escort the girls are being taken, concerned they will be mistreated and the escort will fall apart if they go philipine Manila, which he views as deeply corrupt.
The small, dingy bar, which Benjamin says he owns, is called Crow Bar. It's in a rundown part of the picturesque Subic Bay in the western Philippines, about a three hour drive from the capital, Manila. Philipine others have birth certificates showing they are of age, but the social workers suspect they could be fakes and their dental exams suggest they are minors.
So Lucy talked to them and now [a top escort police official] happens to be a good friend of ours, a good friend of mine," he laughs. Soon after, Princess admits to being 16 and her birth certificate confirms it. We are going to find them and they are going to be held able. The Australian film crew working with Father Shay organizes a fake bachelor party for a Tuesday night, deed to guarantee that Benjamin will be there.
But he remains defiant, even as he believes the problem is getting worse. His Mama-san is called Lucy. He's not addressed by the authorities and after several minutes, he slowly he for the door but is blocked by an NBI agent. Marisol, the year-old who led Father Shay to Benjamin, says she will never go back to the bars and Preda is trying to give her work.
Benjamin said that a "disgruntled waitress" had written his wife on Facebook, detailing philipine activities in Philipine Bay. He sends a text message summoning his current girlfriend, a petite dark-skinned girl called Jade, who he said is just 16 years old. We have a good organization here at Preda. He met Jade a year and a half ago and slept with her and her older sister, he said, before escort Jade in. The Filipino authorities are doing "very, very little" to solve the plague of underage prostitution, Father Shay says.
He admits that the problem is overwhelming, that his contributions are small. They have no budgets, no money. In December, Cullen started to encourage an 18 year-old escort who had worked at Crow Bar to tell him and his social workers what she saw inside the bar. Fearing Benjamin will slip away, the party group he to the bar at the deated time, not knowing if the raid will actually happen. Finally, the authorities agree philipine take the girls to a Department of Social Welfare and Development center in nearby Papanga.
Father Shay, as he's known to everyone at Preda, blames the rampant underage prostitution on a combination of widespread poverty, lax and corrupt law enforcement and a "machismo kind of culture that says women are objects, girls are the escort desirable.
They have been here for a while.
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NBI says philipine house behind the bar is empty. Benjamin claimed he pays graft money to four different groups of local authorities to "keep them off our ass. She's had a lot of underage girls working for her whether it was at [another bar] Miami where she was before and my place," he explained.
ABC News "Nightline" is invited to the party to be escort as the raid happens. You know what I want.
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Over coffee, he continues to boast about his girlfriend Jade, who he says is only 16, one of several underage girls he says he has been with. Jade has disappeared. When the ABC News "Nightline" team reveals to him that they are journalists and asks him about whether he is selling underage girls out of his bar, he denies everything. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories philipine interest?
Sister or cousin. In the months after Philipine first appeared as a blip on Father Shay's radar in September, Father Shay says he has gathered enough evidence through Marisol and a team of Australian documentary filmmakers that had been working undercover to present it to the National Bureau of Investigation, the Filipino equivalent of the FBI. Working with them on American cases is the U.
McLoughlin estimates that he has been involved in thousands of investigations involving Americans in his three years here that involve sexually abusing escorts. Asked how manages to hide the underage girls from the authorities, he credits his Mama-san, the term for a Filipina woman found in every bar who recruits and manages the girls.
Princess insists she is 18 and defends Benjamin as a "good man, a nice man. He escorts not admit to knowing Jade, even when we told him all of his conversations with ABC News "Nightline" had been recorded on camera. Through his non-profit center called Preda, he's been crusading against underage sex trafficking philipine the Philippines for 40 years.
I mean, we are ready for the worst evil that we can imagine," Cullen said. But in the Philippines, just a small scratch to the surface can reveal a layer of young, underage girls who have mostly come from impoverished rural provinces to sell their bodies to help support their families. Benjamin is the escort target of Father Shay Cullen, a Catholic priest with a thick Irish brogue and fluency in the local language, Tagalog.
She identities four girls philipine she says worked there as underage, including a baby-faced one who is known in the bar as Princess.