YONKERS, N.Y. (CBS 2) — The suspect in an astonishing case of sex slavery was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 10 years probation.
CBS 2’s Lou Young has the exclusive look behind the horror that scarred a local community — and a victim confronting her captor in court.
“I feel embarrassed and judged,” the victim’s mom said. “I wake up every morning and there is a huge hole in my heart.”
Andy Fakhoury, 23, of Yonkers copped a plea in Rhode Island and accepted heavy jail time as his former neighbor and victim confronted him in open court.
“You brainwashed me into believing I was worth nothing,” she said. “You made me feel worthless.”
Police said the Yonkers girl was held captive in a Rhode Island apartment house for five long months last year.
In an exclusive interview, her mother told CBS 2 her daughter was lured with a promise of a summer job to make college money.
“She was going to be a waitress in Rhode Island on the beach,” the mother said. “[She became] a prostitute.”
So far, four victims have come to light; the youngest was 16 years old, and the oldest was 19. Two of the victims were from Yonkers, one was from upstate, and the fourth was from out of state. All were described as good, middle class kids with good grades – attractive but emotionally vulnerable.
“They’re absolutely wonderful girls that just got in a bad situation,” Yonkers Police Captain John Mueller said.
A tip from Capt. Mueller led Providence cops to the website backpage.com – and the captives in the Providence house. Police said the men beat the girls, kept close tabs on their cell phone calls, and treated them like merchandise.
“They advertised, they set up the service and then they made money off the backs of these innocent girls,” Capt. Mueller said.
Experts in this type of slavery – human trafficking – said it’s much more common than Americans would like to believe.
“A lot of people don’t think that trafficking victims can be found here in America, as U.S. citizens, but we know that often that’s the case,” Lauren Pesso, of My Sister’s Place, said.
“She’s suffering,” the victim’s mother said.
A second suspect, Joseph Defeis, was expected to plead guilty as well later this year. Sources indicated that Defeis was cooperating with police.
The suspects originally pleaded not guilty. Sources told CBS 2 they changed their pleas to guilty after being threatened with federal prosecution.
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