PHD Suspected Of Recruiting Teen Girls For Prostitution
5:05 AM, Mar 2, 2005
Three men accused of recruiting and pimping young girls around San Diego appeared in court Wednesday, 10News reported.One teenager told 10News she was first approached by pimps from the gang, "Pimp 'N Ho's Daily," or PHD.The former prostitute, who wants to be called R.C., lived in an East Village shelter on 12th and Imperial when a man promised her a way off the streets. He said she could make enough money that she would never want for anything again."It made me money. I was tired of living on the streets," R.C. told 10News.She said she walked the streets of San Diego County for PHD.Prosecutors, police and groups trying to rescue girls from prostitution said PHD is a loose-knit group of thugs that prey on naive and vulnerable minors.Kathi Hardy, a spokeswoman from Freedom From Exploitation, said a lot of the girls approached by PHD are under 18."I can drive down El Cajon Boulevard and tell you which ones are working, even though 80 percent of them are under 18," Hardy said.R.C. said she turned 15-years-old just two months before she was recruited into the prostitution ring.During testimony Wednesday, R.C., now 17, said Dante Dears, (pictured, right), profited hundreds of dollars a day while she worked as a prostitute seven days a week.
Deputy District Attorney David Hendren asked R.C. how she would get money. She said when she needed money, Dears would giver her only what she needed to eat and survive.The former prostitute told 10News it all came to an end one night when Dears beat her and stuffed her into the trunk of his Cadillac. R.C.'s nightmare ended in Hotel Circle. The bleeding and bruised R.C. decided her prostitution days were over.Now, R.C. is back with her mother.Another mother is still waiting for a reunion. April Flake believes her daughter "Tori" was also recruited by PHD."She called crying, baffled and whispering but couldn't talk," Flake said.R.C.'s mother told 10News Wednesday that she was upset that two other men who pleaded guilty to attempting to pimp will not be sent to prison. Hendrin said the prosecutions of the three men will not make a small dent in PHD. Police officials say PHD is a group that is responsible for 40 to 50 percent of prostitution in San Diego County.