Teen Sex for Sale: Middle School Madam Busted

The teen allegedly enticed girls to perform sexual services for money.

ByABC News via logo
March 25, 2008, 9:45 AM

March 25, 2008 — -- Investigators told ABC News' Dallas affiliate WFAA-TV that the teen enticed girls to work at Club Metropolis with the promise of money in exchange for sexual services.

Lt. Chess Williams of the Dallas Police Department would not comment on the specific case to ABC News, but WFAA video shows Dallas police leading girls from the club Saturday.

"The circumstance where we might arrest a juvenile is truly an unusual circumstance," Williams said to ABC News. "The far more prevalent scenario is that it's adults who are going after kids."

Dallas police have made going after the adults behind teenage prostitution a priority. It's an approach that Williams says is more complicated for law enforcement and prosecutors, but a more effective approach to a problem facing cities across the country.

The Dallas Police Department unveiled a pilot program in 2004 to try to gauge the extent of teen prostitution in the city.

During two six-month-long periods, 120 underage girls involved in some type of sex exchange were identified by police. "There were far more juveniles than we anticipated," Williams said.

While the program revealed a more widespread problem than first perceived, authorities also were faced with a challenge of responding appropriately -- a response that Williams said typically means treating the teenage girls as victims rather than offenders.

"We look at them first as potential victims who are being exploited by others for personal gain," Williams said. "It's pretty unlikely that a 13-,14- or 15-year-old decided, 'I'm going to inject myself into the prostitution worlds and turn 20 tricks a night.'"

"I don't want Dallas being portrayed as the juvenile prostitution capital of the world," he said. "This is happening across the United States. The question is how it's being responded to."