Woman accused of trying to sell girl for sex in Texas park, police say

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McALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Police in McAllen have arrested a woman accused of trying to sell a 12-year-old girl for sex, court records show.

Norma Ramirez Tapia of Penitas was arrested on charges of forcing prostitution under the age of 18, according to Hidalgo County records.

A violation report obtained by ValleyCentral details how an officer was dispatched to the 2900 block of Colbath Avenue in reference to a “suspicious circumstance.” The caller told dispatchers that a woman was “sexually trafficking a young woman,” the report said.

The officer contacted the witness at Escandon Elementary who said he saw an older woman and a child at Escandon Park and believed they were “prostituting,” the offense report said. He told police the older woman and the child made hand gestures indicating they were offering sex for money.

The officer then went to the park, where he saw a woman, a small child and a vehicle that had returned to Tapia, the document said.

Authorities contacted the witness again, who said he goes to the park almost every day and started noticing the older woman three days ago.

The witness told police they never approached his vehicle, but “it was clear the hand movements indicated oral sex and were directed at him” and the woman gestured at herself and the child, suggesting he choose, the document claims.

The woman made a five-finger gesture on one hand and a zero on the other, indicating a price of $50, the witness told authorities. He told police he then went to a friend’s house to ask her to beat up the woman for the proposal, and when they returned, the two were gone.

The day he called dispatch, he said he saw the woman and child again. He said the woman and child approached a van and he stopped to film what was happening, but pulled over because he felt he was being spotted, the police document said.

The officer made contact with Tapia and the child, and the woman told police she brought the child to the park to “play and eat rasp,” police said.

She was transported to the McAllen Police Department and investigators said Tapia gave “contradictory statements,” the document states.

One of the investigators spoke with the child, who said he was “doing something he shouldn’t have been doing at the park” and that he didn’t feel comfortable saying what they were doing, the document states.

Tapia was then arrested on a charge of forced prostitution. Her bond was set at $100,000.

Child Protective Services was contacted and a relative took custody of the child, the document states.

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