Disturbing New Details Emerge About Texas Teen Taken from Basketball Game, Lured Into Sex Trafficking Ring

Disturbing new details have emerged in the case of a Texas teen who vanished from a Dallas Mavericks game last year and was later sex trafficked, WFAA-TV reports.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, on April 8, 2022, the girl was at the American Airlines Center in Dallas with her father watching the basketball game when she went to use the bathroom and never returned.

Unbeknownst to her dad, a man allegedly lured the teen away from the arena. She was not found until April 18 after sexually explicit images of her were posted to a prostitution website, which lead authorities to locate her in an Oklahoma City hotel room booked by a registered sex offender, according to KRIV-TV.

Eight people were arrested at the time, including some for an alleged scheme to sell the girl for sex, KFOR-TV reports.

However, investigators continued working on the case, and on Thursday, police in Dallas arrested 33-year-old Emmanuel Cartagena for alleged sexually assault of a child.

Authorities allege that it was Cartagena who met the teen outside the basketball game and brought her to a home in Dallas, where he allegedly assaulted her.

The teen reportedly wrote in a journal entry shared by her family that she was drugged and then assaulted by three men before she was brought to Oklahoma, according to WFAA-TV.

In a statement, a lawyer who represents the teen’s family said they are glad another arrest has been made and are hopeful that the other men who committed the assaults will be found.

“With no Dallas arrests in the nine months since she was sexually assaulted, it has been agonizing for the victim and her parents,” Zeke Fortenberry said in the statement, according to WFAA-TV.

“The arrest of Cartagena is progress toward seeing that justice is done, and we appreciate the efforts of the Dallas Police Department. We hope that the other suspects related to her sexual assault in Dallas will also be arrested in the near future.”

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[Feature Photo: Featured image: Top, L-R: Steven Hill, Karen Gonzales, Sarah Hayes and Thalia Gibson; Bottom, L-R: Shaniya Alexander, Chevaun Gibson, Melissa Wheeler and Kenneth Nelson/Oklahoma City Detention Center]