• Morganton man paid for 14-year-old Guatemala girl for cooking, cleaning, sex acts, police say

    By: Dave Faherty

    Updated:

    MORGANTON, N.C. - A man in Morganton is locked up under a $1 million bond, accused of human trafficking of a child. 

    Public safety officers learned of the case after getting a 911 call that a 14-year old girl had been assaulted.

    Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty spoke with family members of the man, who said he paid thousands of dollars for the teen to come to the United States and he planned on marrying her.

    According to court documents, that's not all she was doing at the home.

    Public safety officers aren't releasing the exact amount of money they say Pasqual Mendez paid for the girl to be flown into the United States from Guatemala.

    At the home Thursday, his cousin explained why she was here.  His daughter helped translate.

    "She can clean up and do stuff.  And also sweep and mop,” the cousin told Faherty.

    According to the arrest warrant, the agreement not only included services for cooking and cleaning but also sexual acts.  

    Neighbors were stunned to learn the details of the case. One woman asked Channel 9 to not show her face.

    "It's disgusting the U.S. would allow that happen. What did he go through to make this happen?" she said.

    Channel 9 has learned police believe it was one of the girl's own family members who brokered the deal, taking cash in return for the teenager.   

    Investigators said she had been in the house for approximately six weeks before public safety learned of the case. 

    The girl has been removed from the home and the Department of Social Services is involved. 

    "We know it happens. Glad we could take steps in this case to protect juveniles and just to help," Morganton Public Safety Sgt. Tim Correveau said.

    Channel 9 asked if Mendez is in the U.S. legally.  Public safety officers said at this point they can find no documentation that he is. 

    Faherty broke the story on Twitter Thursday morning.

    Follow Faherty on Twitter for updates.

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