MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - A man who allegedly paid MS-13 to have sex with a 14-year-old girl was convicted on Wednesday, and immediately sentenced to 15 years in prison.
According to court documents, Feliz Silva Zuniga, 52, met the teenager at Umberto’s restaurant in Wheaton, and then videotaped the sexual encounter with her.
He also reportedly told the girl that she must continue having sex with him or he would show the video to her employers at Lilly’s restaurant.
Eventually, he did show the video to people at the restaurant, including her boyfriend, a high-ranking member of MS-13, according to the affidavit. The teen quit working at Lilly's restaurant out of fear of retaliation, officials stated.
The investigation into the incident revealed the inner workings of MS-13 in Montgomery County, and its use of teenage girls for prostitution.
Court documents obtained by FOX 5 paint a horrifying picture in which a 14-year-old girl who worked at Lilly’s restaurant in Wheaton was forced by the gang to help sell drugs and serve alcohol to customers.
When the teen told the gang she wanted to quit her job, authorities said the MS-13 members took her to a house on Valley View Avenue in Kensington and beat her with a baseball bat.
An affidavit filed in the case quotes a source who said they saw the girl after she was beaten and she had discolored arms and legs. According to the affidavit, the girl was then pimped by the gang to men willing to pay $100 to have sex with her.
Detectives said they learned about the prostitution claims after an investigation into MS-13 members in Wheaton began in May 2016. Police said they searched the home of Zuniga and found a number of recording devices. He faces child porn and rape charges in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
A Latino advocacy group that talked to FOX 5 on Wednesday night said that they were appaled by the incident.
They said anyone seeking help in a similar situation should call 1-866-765-CASA.