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Case #240 - Sick Miami pimp forces 13-year-old runaway to tattoo his name on her eyelids: cops

Miami, FL|Sex-Trafficking Minors|Add Comment
By: Carol Kuruvilla, New York Daily News
Roman “Suave” Thomas III and Shanteria Sanders

When a 13-year-old prostitute tried to leave her pimp, the Miami man forced her to tattoo his street name on her eyelids.

The teenager now has her torturer’s nickname, Suave, on her right eyelid. On her left eyelid, she was inked with the word House, suggesting that she belonged to him.

Suave, known formally as Roman Thomas III, was arrested last Monday by Miami police. The 26-year-old and a female accomplice, Shanteria Sanders, “compelled and coerced” the young girl into becoming a prostitute, giving her drugs to keep her obedient.

Nicknamed Sparkle, the teen ran away from a turbulent home. She met Thomas on March 12 at the USA Flea Market in Miami. One day later, he saw her again and convinced her to come home with him. He was living at the Miami Shores Motel. It was there that Thomas and Sanders took “provocative” photos of the girl, uploading them to the classifieds section on Backpage.com. Sparkle was advertised as the “new girl,” according to police reports.

Thomas and Sanders then forced the 13-year-old to become a prostitute. They gave her condoms and taught her how to speak with customers. They used drugs to keep Sparkle dependent on them — alcohol, marijuana and “Molly,” a form of MDMA. When johns came to the motel asking for her services, Thomas and Sanders charged them up to $100 per hour and counted the cash after every visit.

Once, when the two realized that some money was missing, they duct-taped the young girl and “threatened to kill her.”

After Sparkle threatened to run away, Thomas and Sanders hauled her back to the Flea Market, where she was tattooed.

“It’s outrageous that this girl would be branded for life at such an early age, on of all places her eyelids,” investigator Lt. Jose Alfonso told the Miami Herald.

Sanders, 23, also bears Thomas’ mark on her body. The word “Suave” is tattooed across her chest.

Thomas was already serving five years of probation when Miami police took him into custody. He spent four years in prison for having sex with a minor. He was released in September with a GPS monitor strapped to his ankle. On March 10, Miami police received a warning from the device that the bracelet had been removed. That was just two days before he met Sparkle.

The young girl’s mother managed to track her down, directing Miami police to her pimp.

Sparkle is now receiving therapy from Project GOLD, a branch of the non-profit Kristi House that helps sexually exploited children deal with the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual repercussions of being abused.

Both Thomas and Sanders face charges of human trafficking, false imprisonment, lewd and lascivious exhibition and delivery of a controlled substance to a child.

Anyone with information about young victims of human trafficking can call the toll-free national hotline at 1-888-3737-888. To learn about human trafficking in the United States, visit the Polaris Project.

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