PAMPANGA, PHILIPPINES – On Easter Sunday, girls who had been trafficked and routinely exploited woke up in freedom. Their rescue came about thanks to a committed police unit and a band of IJM staff members.
Two years ago, Angelita* was rescued from a karaoke bar where she had been trafficked and sold for sex at just 14 years old.
Angelita has experienced more suffering and hardship than most will see in a lifetime, and yet her story is marked by resilience. Since IJM helped rescue her, she has begun to process the violence she suffered at the bar, as well as many painful experiences from her childhood.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Yesterday, a man was sentenced to 40 years in prison and convicted for raping his daughter, Marikit.*
IJM has been working on this case since 2008, and IJM Manila attorney Ralph Catedral was grateful to make the phone call to tell Marikit and her mother the news.
“This victory is a testament to Marikit’s perseverance, our team’s relentless pursuit of justice, and our government’s commitment to the rule of law,” Catedral said, adding that his greatest hope is that “this victory would be a turning point in Marikit’s journey of healing.”
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — Eight years after retired U.S. Marine Michael Pepe was arrested and charged for systematically and sadistically abusing young children in Cambodia, he has been found guilty and sentenced to 210 years in prison.
Pepe was leading a double life while working in Cambodia as a college professor: he would lure impoverished girls into his home, then subject them to violent sexual abuse. Though he was extradited to the U.S. and convicted in 2008, the sentence was handed down on February 28, 2014, after a multi-year legal battle.