TACOMA – A Tacoma woman faces federal charges amid accusations she led a child sex trafficking operation.
Federal Prosecutors say Shadina Rice took in two runaway 13-year-old girls and forced them to serve as prostitutes. Court documents say Rice took pictures of the girls, posted them online and had men meet her at a local donut shop. The men were then directed to an apartment where the girls were held and forced to perform sex acts.
The documents say Rice would often wait in the car outside until the “johns” left the apartment.
The girls were rescued and later told police they feared Rice and for their safety.
One victim's mother told authorities in a written statement that Rice was a monster who “took my child’s innocence.”
“I am now left to mend a heart that has been broken, a soul that has been burned. I have a long road ahead …” she wrote.
Sister Donna Fread is part of Pierce County “Stop the Demand”, a faith-based group looking to reduce the amount of sex and human trafficking. Her group recently unveiled an ad campaign looking to raise awareness of the topic. She hopes more people pay attention to the issue and fund programs which can counsel young girls in crisis.
“Help people realize this could be their child, their sisters, members of their family. Something needs to be done to stop it," said Fread.
Rice will answer to the charges at a federal hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon.