A Miami man was behind bars Wednesday accused of the sex trafficking of a 15-year-old runaway girl, police said.
Agustin Santana, 22, faces charges including human trafficking, sexual battery on a minor and interference with custody. He was being held without bond Wednesday following a court appearance and it was unknown if he has an attorney.
"They know that they can go online and they can find photographs and often times it's clear they are underage," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that there are young girls that are pubescent. But it's an attraction for the predators."
According to a Miami-Dade Police arrest report, the parents of the girl were distributing flyers as they tried to locate her, and a hotel employee recognized her from a backpage.com ad.
"The parents went and did more, they got flyers, they went to all the local stores. They went to hotels and they just gave her photograph out to everyone to be on the look out for her," Fernandez Rundle said.
An ad posted on Jan. 14 showed the girl and said she was an escort available in the Cutler Bay area, the report said. Undercover officers called the number on the ad and discovered the girl was working as a prostitute out of the Quality Inn Motel at 14501 South Dixie Highway, the report said.
The girl agreed to meet with an undercover officer, thinking she would be paid $100 for 30 minutes of sex, the report said. When officers arrived at the hotel, they found Santana acting as a lookout and security for the girl, the report said.
Police discovered Santana had been sexually exploiting the girl for about a week, paying her $1,000 a day in exchange for her working as a prostitute, the report said.
Santana admitted he knew the girl was a runaway and knew she was only 15, the report said. He also said he had sex with the teen several times.
Officers discovered marijuana and Molly capsules in the hotel room, and Santana admitted to giving the teen marijuana, the report said.