Survivor of Child Sex Trafficking Speaks Out

It’s a crime that’s been referred to as “modern day slavery.” Human trafficking is taking place in areas all around the world, including the Delaware Valley. One survivor from North Philadelphia spoke to NBC10 to share her story.

Tyleah Eubanks was 15-years-old the day she checked her Facebook account, a normal occurrence that would ultimately change her life forever.

“I got a message from a Lisa Sanchez,” she said. “She asked me if I wanted to make quick money, easy money. So of course I’m gonna say yeah.”

The Facebook messages turned to texts about a job interview.

“At this point I’m thinking maybe I might dance,” Eubanks said.

Eubanks says she was eventually talked into sending naked pictures and then into meeting a man for an interview.

“I had to perform oral, an oral act on him,” she said. 

Eubanks soon discovered that “Lisa Sanchez” was actually Rashaad McIntyre, a local pimp. Eubanks says he made her feel special with promises of more money than she could imagine. He made all of these promises while knowing she was only 15.

Eubanks eventually began turning tricks, mostly in motel rooms. Eventually she was having sex with more than a dozen men each day. 

“Maybe eight will come through in the morning and maybe ten at night,” she said.

That was her life, seven days a week for one year, until police arrested McIntyre in 2012. 

“That could be anybody’s daughter,” said Bob Parks of the FBI. “That could be your neighbor. That could be your daughter’s or your son’s friend at school.”

The Philadelphia FBI has worked 70 child trafficking cases since 2012. 

“If you have a girl who is 13-years-old she is being raped multiple times a day because this pimp wants her to make money for him,” Parks said.
The children are lured in different ways, including online, local malls, parks or schools. The traffickers typically groom and brainwash their victims, similar to a cult leader influencing followers.
“The connection that develops between the victims and the perpetrator is very powerful,” said Philadelphia’s US Attorney Zane Memeger. “They’re only 15, 16-years-old and they’re gonna be victims for the rest of their lives dealing with the psychological ramifications of what these guys did.”
McIntyre was convicted of trafficking Eubanks and two other minors. He is currently serving 22 years in federal prison. As for Eubanks, she’s turning her life around and is working on her goal of becoming a veterinarian. 
“I’m actually about to graduate and I’m going to college,” she said. “I want to work with animals. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
Despite how far she’s come, Eubanks will always be mindful of what McIntyre took away from her. 
“My innocence,” she said. “A huge chunk of my childhood.” 
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