Mom, Grandma Accused of Pimping 14-Year-Old Houston Girl

In a disturbing story out of Houston this week, a 14-year-old girl told the police she was being forced into prostitution. The pimps she named? Her own mother and grandmother. And while the idea of a grandmother as a pimp may be strange to the point of almost comical, familial trafficking of teen girls is far from rare.

Elizabeth Buford, her daughter Alicia Melchor, and her 14-year-old granddaughter lived together in a rented motel room in the Houston area. They paid their rent on time, but the motel soon began to receive complaints from other tenants that there was a steady stream of people going  in and out of the room at all hours of the day and night. When police investigated, they found evidence to indicate Buford and Melchor had been forcing their grand daughter/daughter into prostitution, possibly since she was 11 years old. The money the teen was paid to have sex with several men a night went to support the older women’s drug habit and to pay for basic living expenses.

Melchor claims the forced prostitution charges are a lie, and that her daughter had been in her father’s custody until recently. However, the teen told police her mother and grandmother had been selling her for sex for years. The two women were eventually arrested at the motel where they lived for compelling a minor into prostitution and possession of heroin. No word yet as to whether human trafficking charges will be brought as well.

While complicity of both a mother and a grandmother in pimping is unusual, family members playing the role of pimp for children and teens is sadly not. Most often, family members begin selling the children in their life to support a drug habit, pay off significant debts, or cover basic living expenses like food and rent. Cases of familial trafficking can go unnoticed for extended periods of time because the child is being exploited by a legal guardian. Family members may also be able to convince children that prostitution is their duty to the family, that they need to contribute money and prostitution is the only way to do that.

Child sex trafficking victims can have any relationship to their pimps — daughter, grandaughter, girlfriend, wife, cousin, stranger, etc. Similarly, not all pimps look like the ones from the movies. But the tenants in one Houston motel knew not to be fooled and picked up on the real signs of exploitation, like the steady stream of male visitors in the middle of the night to a room where a 14-year-old girl and two women with addiction issues lived. And their vigilance means that one young girl is no longer living life as a slave.



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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. This just shocking. How could these two women dare to sell their own flesh and blood for sex to the point of victimising and robbing her of her childhood? That girl deserves better than be treated like a sex object. Shame on those two women

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