Not only did the ‘clients’ pay the minors for sexual favours, but they also supplied them with cocaine, which they consumed with them.
The said clients claim that they believed that the minors were adults, whereas in reality they were aged between 14 and 17.
It appears that the ring used two flats in the centre of the town of Álava (Vitoria), belonging to the children’s home, and found clients for the minors by advertising their services via two webpages.
And all this was occurring whilst the Provincial Council was supposed to be the legal custodians of these minors, many of whom had been removed by the Social Services from their families and put into ‘care.’
The situation first came to light on the 6th of October when the director of the children’s home, Sansoheta, overheard a group of minors speaking about their involvement in a prostitution ring. He immediately informed the Provincial Social Services, as well as the regional police, the Ertzaintza.
At first the minors were unwilling to disclose who the clients and organisers were but this changed as the investigation advanced.
A spokeswoman for the Provincial Council, Beatriz Artolazabal, finally admitted during a press call after repeated questioning from reporters that one of the monitors working in the centre had been identified by one of the minors as an organiser. She also admitted that several more could also be implicated.
Furthermore, a psychologist who has worked with the centre giving advice on adoptions, although not employed as a member of staff, is already in custody.
The police opened an investigation which soon pulled 14 people in to ‘help with their inquiries,’ one of whom was the said psychologist who specialises in domestic violence and sexual abuse.
So far the police have determined that five minors, both boys and girls, had provided sexual services for the prostitution ring, but they suspect that there could have been more.
However, a minor, who could provide key information as he was allegedly the one that talked the others into participating, has disappeared. He also maintained an intimate relationship with the psychologist.
(News: Alava, Vitoria, Spain)