Authorities in Texas have arrested two men believed to have been involved in the horrific abuse of a teen runaway beginning last year.
According to the San Antonio Express News, 28-year-old Ray Hernandez Jr. allegedly met the 15-year-old girl online and had soon begun prostituting her to his friends and other men.
He was arrested on Thursday and is expected to face criminal charges including continuous trafficking of a person.
Later the same day, another suspect in the case was taken into custody. Alfredo Herrera, 25, was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault of a child.
The two suspects were booked into Bexar County Jail and authorities indicate they expect to make additional arrested in association with the alleged abuse.
Korey Acosta, 20, has been identified as another suspect, according to Fox News. In addition to paying for sex with the teen, police allege he coordinated with Hernandez to sell her to other men.
Though few details were released in initial news reports, an affidavit indicates the girl was with Hernandez for months, even returning to him after she was spotted and identified as a runaway. Her apparent loyalty changed, however, after an incident earlier this month.
All three suspects and a fourth individual identified only as “Coach” were at a residence with the girl during a four-day period in which she was subjected to repeated rape and forced to take drugs.
“The victim said she was given narcotics shortly after arriving at the residence and remained on a ‘high’ for the remainder of the time she was with them (a period of about four days),” the affidavit read.
Hernandez and Acosta allegedly took the victim to a hotel room where “Coach” raped her. The man then paid Acosta before the girl was taken to another location where the other three suspects took turns raping her, police say.
The teen was reportedly able to escape after telling her captors that the narcotics were making her sick, giving her an opportunity to contact police.
[Featured image: Ray Hernandez Jr. and Alfredo Alejandro Herrera/Bexar County Jail]