Suspects in Miami Beach sex-trafficking case were allowed bond

Miami HeraldJanuary 10, 2014 

MIAMI -- Due to a paperwork error, two people charged with forcing a 13-year old runaway into prostitution and working at a Miami Beach strip club were mistakenly released from jail on bond.

The suspects were returned to jail the next day.

Marlene San Vincente, 22, and Vilbert Jean, 37, were originally charged with the trafficking of a minor and other offenses. A third suspect, 18-year old DeWayne Ward, was also charged. He never bonded out of jail, probably because he was unable to come up with the money.

To specify that the charges against the trio involved a person under the age of 15, Miami Police originally charged the suspects under a specific subparagraph of Florida’s human-trafficking law. Under that subparagraph, the suspects would not have been eligible for bond.

But that subparagraph, represented by a single letter on arrest forms, was scratched off by someone — it’s unclear who. So the suspects became eligible for bond.

They were released on Tuesday and returned to jail on Wednesday, according to prosecutors.

San Vincente, Jean and Ward were arrested on Monday and charged with forcing a teen to have sex for money and later to dance nude at Club Madonna in Miami Beach.

According to police:

The girl, identified as D.J. in a search warrant, had run away from home on Dec. 10. She was immediately picked up by a man identified only as A.P., who took her to a Miami home where San Vincente, Jean and Ward lived.

D.J. was expected to pay to stay at the home. On one occasion, she had sex with a man for $80. But she refused to prostitute herself, so San Vincente arranged for the girl to dance with her at Club Madonna in Miami Beach. D.J. performed on at least five nights under the name “Peaches.”

The club owners said they have no record of the girl working there.

All of the money D.J. earned was taken by her pimps, police said. She knew Jean kept an AK47 assault riffle, and Ward once threatened her with a .40 caliber pistol if she “got away,” police said.

D.J.’s mom found her in the area of North Miami Avenue and 55th Street on Jan. 6.

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