— Sociedad El Comercio (@sociedad_ECpe) December 8, 2015
An American man was arrested for operating a sex trafficking ring that paired up foreigners with young girls – one as young as 4 – for sex.
Joshua David Brown, who was born in New Hampshire, was arrested in Lima with five others for offering up the children for sex on an online network. The fees started at $500 and some girls were offered for thousands of dollars.
Brown, known in Peru as “the beast,” is also accused of killing two of his victims. Police say the man had sex with some of the children.
"He had a legitimate business in Peru and a parallel dark life trafficking people to exploit sexually," General Oscar Gonzales, the head of the police unit tasked with human trafficking, told Reuters. "He would bring foreign pedophiles here whom he contacted through the private Internet forum."
Authorities called it the first major bust of a child sex trafficking ring run by a foreigner in Latin America. They believe it had been operating for at least 12 years, according to Peru’s El Comercio.
Police said they rescued 36 victims, 11 of whom were minors.
One of Brown’s victims is now accused of being an accomplice. Police say the woman, a 26-year-old woman who has been sexually abused since she was 14, ended up offering up her own daughters, ages 4 and 7, as prostitutes online. She was trying to sell her daughters for $4,000 to $7,000, police said.
“She had no scruples in offering up her daughters,” said General Gonzales to “America Noticias.”
The five others arrested with Brown were all Peruvian citizens. They face charges for human trafficking of minors, pimping and pandering, according to U.S.'s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which worked with the Peruvian Attorney General’s Office on the case. They each face up to 25 years in prison, if convicted.
Brown may also face criminal charges in the U.S. under the Protect Act, which seeks to end exploitation of children.
All the minors rescued are in the care of child protective services.
“The children and adults rescued as part of this case lived a horrible nightmare at the hands of these monsters,” ICE's Andean region Attaché Luis Sierra said in a press release. “Our message is clear: if you’re abusing the innocent, we will not rest until you’re found and put behind bars.”