Postman saves teenage girl from sex trafficking ring
A teenage girl was saved from an alleged drug and sex trafficking ring by a local postman after he’d found her on the streets in a notoriously dangerous community.
Crystal Allen (16), from Placerville in California in the US, was reportedly lured to Sacramento, also in California, by a friend. However when she got there she found herself entangled in a world of sex and drugs.
She was abused, drugged and raped repeatedly for three months, Fox 40 reports. She eventually managed to escape on 8 June.
During her ordeal she doubted she’d ever see her mother again.
“I just cried all the time and prayed that I’d get to see my mom again,” Crystal told Fox 40.
“They made it impossible. They had guard dogs and people that would watch us all the time and not let us leave. I was tied to chairs.”
The teen fled her captors’ car while the criminals were on their way to commit a crime in another neighbourhood, KPIX reports.
As she jumped out of the car she grabbed one of their phones and ran as fast as she could.
She eventually came to a bushy area where she hid. Eventually a postal carrier, Ivan Crisostomo, heard her crying.
“I heard this crying when I came out of the vehicle,” Ivan recalls. “So I approached her and I asked her if she was afraid. She didn’t want to talk.”
Ivan, a father of four himself, helped Crystal call her mom, Stacey Ohman.
“She was frantic,” Stacey told KPIX. “I couldn’t even talk to her she was so upset. I told her she had to reach out to someone for safety. She gave the phone to Ivan and he instantly kicked into gear and told me he’d stay with my daughter.”
Ivan stayed with Crystal and let her sit in his postal truck until the police arrived.
Officers from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department have nothing but praise for Ivan.
“The area where she was found is notoriously a high crime area,” Deputy Latoya Buford told KPIX. “There are lots of drugs, prostitution and gangs in that area. So Ivan standing by with her really provided comfort, safety and security until officers arrived.”
Deputy David Cuneo agrees. “What Ivan did was wonderful. He stepped up where a lot of people would’ve continued driving down the road. And he made a huge, positive impact on this young girl’s life.”
But Ivan shies away from the recognition, telling Fox 40 he was simply doing his job.
“As mailmen we have a duty as human beings, being there, knowing the people. We kind of have a different responsibility towards the neighbours and the people we serve. That’s how I see it.”
But to Crystal, Ivan is a hero.
“Ivan himself is a hero for saving me. Even though he doesn’t think it.”
SOURCES: KPIX, FOX 40, KCRA