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It’s no secret sex trafficking is a colossal issue in America and around the world. Not only are young people being forced into sexual acts with adults, many times they are held accountable for the crimes committed by said adults. Most recently, the story of Zephaniah “Zephi” Trevino has come to light, as she reportedly faces jail time after the man who coerced her into a life of sex trafficking killed another man she was forced to have sex with.

Her parents are currently raising money for her legal defense. Here’s Zephi’s story, as written by her mom and dad, Crystal & Henry Trevino:

Our daughter’s name is Zephaniah “Zephi” Trevino. She is 16 years old and is a junior in high school. She is currently charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery. Our daughter was raised in a faith-based home surrounded by a loving family. She is the youngest of four siblings. She lives in Grand Prairie,Texas and is a loving and beautiful young lady. Before meeting this tragic circumstance, she was outgoing and involved with many activities such as her church worship team, select fastpitch softball, and had recently made the drill team at her high school. Everyone who had met our daughter could feel the impact of her loving and caring personality. She loves hard and feels deeply.

Her life drastically changed when she was introduced her to drugs by an abusive boyfriend. Her life spiraled fast, she began to change mentally and physically; ran away often. In May of 2019 she met an adult that began grooming her for sex trafficking through coercion by using physical threats, threats of death against her family and drugs. Zephi had been forced, a number of times, to participate in sexual acts with adults by her trafficker. Ultimately, this cycle of abuse ended with her trafficker killing a man that Zephi was being forced to perform sexual acts with.

She has been in the Henry Wade Juvenile Justice facility since last fall awaiting trial. Even though the District Attorney’s office has been made aware that Zephi was being forced to perform sexual acts on adults due to threats of harm by her trafficker if she tried to leave him. The public defender that was assigned to Zephi’s case is pushing her to take a plea deal with a long sentence rather than defending her at trial. However, our daughter maintains her innocence.

 

In response, we are having to gather funds to pay for a legal defense to fight on our daughter’s behalf. She has been victimized by sex trafficking and is now being charged for a crime that she did not commit. The person who committed the crime is the same person who was victimizing our daughter with physical threats.Please consider helping us raise a legal defense that will fight for her life. Henry & Crystal Trevino.

ALSO: Here’s What We Learned From Cyntoia Brown-Long’s First Post-Prison Interview

Attorney Justin A. Moore has vowed to fight for Trevino’s freedom, saying in an Instagram post this week:

“Child sex trafficking is an issue that exists right under our noses. There are countless stories about children who are forced into sex trafficking and are then held culpable for their trafficker’s crimes. Due to juvenile privacy laws, I’m not allowed to say much about this case outside of what the Trevinos have shared, but I along with @itsjasonflom vow to fight for this family as the criminal justice system endeavors to tear them apart. 

See Moore’s post up top and donate to Zephi’s legal defense fund HERE. We are praying she and her family receive the justice they deserve.

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