Suspected pimp, 17, may be youngest ever charged
Mom was caught in online bust
A would-be teen pimp tried forcing his underage girlfriend into the sex trade and then threatened to “violate” her grandparents when she refused, police say, in what is believed to be the first time a juvenile has been charged under the state’s sex trafficking law.
The case against D’Vante “Roc” Bly-Mollenthiel, 17, would forge new ground in the fight against the state’s growing human trafficking scourge. Five years after the state law took effect, dozens of men and women have been charged, but a Herald survey of prosecutors statewide yesterday did not find another case in which the defendant was under 18.
The Brockton teen’s alleged foray into pimping also underscores what advocates warn is the sex trade’s ingrained inter-generational problem. Bly-Mollenthiel’s mother has a history of prostitution convictions herself, and, police say, has posted ads to the same dark corners of the internet where her son is accused of circulating pictures of his victimized girlfriend.
“Human trafficking is a brutal crime that often goes unreported,” said Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz, whose office is prosecuting BlyMollenthiel as a youthful offender.
“These cases prove great challenges for law enforcement, who continue to have to adapt their investigations to identify trafficking victims and arrest those who are trafficking individuals,” Cruz said.
Indicted in March, BlyMollenthiel faces up to life in prison on charges of trafficking a minor and inducing a minor into prostitution.
His girlfriend, who is 17, told police she and “Roc” had dated for a month last spring when he started to become “very forceful ... and told (her) that she needed to perform sexual acts for money and make him $1,000 during the night.”
“Don’t you love me? If you do, you will do this,” he told her, according to a police report obtained by the Herald.
Bly-Mollenthiel then rented a Brockton hotel room for her and listed an ad with her phone number on Backpage.com, police said. The girl said she ultimately never took an “appointment” in her room and tried to leave the next morning, only to be slapped by Bly-Mollenthiel. She was finally able to escape, but Bly-Mollenthiel started to call and text her, claiming she owed him money for the hotel, police said.
He told her he would “stomp her the (expletive) out” and that he’d go to her grandparents’ home and “violate on” them, according to the report.
Bly-Mollenthiel is currently in custody, and his lawyer did not return a request for comment yesterday.
“My son’s innocent, that’s all I can say to you,” his mother, Derlminah Mollenthiel, told a Herald reporter in a brief phone interview yesterday before hanging up.
She did not respond to further attempts to speak to her about her own criminal history, which, according to court documents, includes convictions on charges of sexual conduct for a fee in 2008 and 2014. In one case, police said they responded to an online ad for an escort named “Sugar,” and the woman, later identified as Mollenthiel, told a detective posing as a john it would cost him $150 for sex.
The pattern of sons following
‘ “My father was a pimp, my grandfather was a pimp, now I’m a pimp.” (The belief is) it’s a success story.’ — DR. WENDY MACIAS-KONSTANTOPOULOS director, MGH Human Trafficking Initiative
relatives into the sex trade isn’t new. Raymond Jeffreys, a Dorchester pimp who was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison in 2016, was raised by a “crack whore” mother and surrounded by pimps, his lawyer told the court last year.
“I grew up, you know, thinking I was going to be a pimp,” Jeffreys said at his sentencing.
Victim advocates told the Herald during a roundtable on sex trafficking in the paper’s offices last month that they’re intent on breaking an “intergenerational” cycle in which children of survivors churn out of child welfare systems, only to follow a similar path.
“The FBI has interviews … from traffickers and pimps who clearly say there is an intergenerational process to it,” Dr. Wendy MaciasKonstantopoulos, director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Human Trafficking Initiative, said at the time.
“‘My father was a pimp, my grandfather was a pimp, now I’m a pimp,’ ” MaciasKonstantopoulos said. The belief is “it’s a success story.”