Today in Sioux Falls Federal Court, a man named Mohammed Alaboudi was sentenced to four life sentences for forcing young girls and women into a life of sex trafficking where he sold them for sex and kept the money for himself.
It is a stomach turning story...and it is happening here.
This apartment is near McKennan Park. Federal prosecutors say girls and young women were enticed to come here by Mohammed Alaboudi with promises of drugs and alcohol. South Dakota U-S Attorney Brendan Johnson says he then got those women high and drunk. "All to lower their inhibitions so they could not say no when he would bring man after man into his home to have sex with these young girls and women." Once those girls and women were in Alaboudi's web, they just could not get out. "If they refused, they would be raped, or they would be beaten."
While Alaboudi was prosecuted in the federal court system, it was Sioux Falls Police who first learned about what was happened here...and their efforts ripped this case open. It's not the only case police are working and Chief Doug Barthel warns those who are looking to buy and sell sex in Sioux Falls...shouldn't. "Would be well advised to think differently because we're certainly going to continue our efforts."
And with a backdrop of the area's top law enforcement officers, state Attorney General Marty Jackley says his office in Pierre is working to send a very clear message to those who would use children and women for profit. "South Dakota is off limits for human trafficking and crimes against children."
While detectives and investigators are crucial to this effort, what really allowed the Feds to go after Mohammed Alaboudi was the testimony of one of his trafficking victims...a 14 year old girl. "And it was that courage and her willingness to work with law enforcement that has brought human traffickers in the Sioux Falls community to justice."
And the message again...is if you think there is a young girl or woman who is in trouble...don't be afraid to contact police and tell them you're concerned. Your voice could be the one that saves someone from future abuse and pain.