Story of Survival: 6 years as a sex slave in NYC

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

A victim of the sex trafficking trade sat down with News 12 to share her story of survival.

Carmen went from being a 14-year-old girl living in Mexico to being kidnapped and sold for sex in New York City by Mexican pimps, forced to service anywhere up to 40 clients a day.

"I remember and see how my life was and how horrible it was in the past," Carmen says.

For six years, she says she was raped and abused physically and mentally by her traffickers.

Carmen repeatedly considered killing herself, she says, and tried many times until one day when her trafficker was demanding money and threatening her over the phone. She decided to call a friend on the outside for help and run away.

Carmen spent time at the Family Justice Center in Queens, a shelter in Manhattan and the psychiatric unit at Bellevue Hospital, where she met Lori Cohen, director of the anti-trafficking initiative at Sanctuary for Families.

She eventually testified against her attacker in 2013 and helped put him in prison.

Now an advocate around the city, Carmen makes sure women and parents know that human trafficking is real and something that must be addressed with children.

Carmen says she is taking things day by day as she moves toward the goals and dreams she thought were gone forever. She hopes to become a nurse in five years. Last summer, she married a man named Luis.

Four years ago this week, Carmen's trafficker, Benito Lopez-Perez, was sentenced to 18 years in prison after he and his two brothers pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges.

News 12 has recently updated to a brand new version of our iOS and Android apps.  If you don't have auto updates enabled on your devices, head to the App Store or Google Play Store to update to the latest version.  This will ensure you keep getting up-to-date local news, traffic and weather information.

  • Brooklyn Top StoriesBrooklyn Top StoriesMore>>

  • East New York animal shelter to undergo $27.3M renovation

    East New York animal shelter to undergo $27.3M renovation

    Tuesday, January 23 2018 8:27 PM EST2018-01-24 01:27:53 GMT
    The de Blasio administration announced Tuesday that the Animal Care Centers of NYC shelter on Linden Boulevard will soon receive a complete makeover.The de Blasio administration announced Tuesday that the Animal Care Centers of NYC shelter on Linden Boulevard will soon receive a complete makeover.

    The de Blasio administration announced Tuesday that the Animal Care Centers of NYC shelter on Linden Boulevard will soon receive a complete makeover.

    The de Blasio administration announced Tuesday that the Animal Care Centers of NYC shelter on Linden Boulevard will soon receive a complete makeover.

  • Helen Keller Services celebrates 125 years

    Helen Keller Services celebrates 125 years

    Tuesday, January 23 2018 6:03 PM EST2018-01-23 23:03:00 GMT
    Helen Keller Services for the Blind is celebrating 125 years of helping the visually impaired.Helen Keller Services for the Blind is celebrating 125 years of helping the visually impaired.

    Helen Keller Services for the Blind is celebrating 125 years of helping the visually impaired.

    Helen Keller Services for the Blind is celebrating 125 years of helping the visually impaired.

  • Snediker Ave. dad says tap water comes out like mud

    Snediker Ave. dad says tap water comes out like mud

    Tuesday, January 23 2018 6:26 PM EST2018-01-23 23:26:57 GMT
    Residents of a Snediker Avenue apartment say their tap water is so dirty that they haven't been able to brush their teeth or cook with it for years.Residents of a Snediker Avenue apartment say their tap water is so dirty that they haven't been able to brush their teeth or cook with it for years.

    Residents of a Snediker Avenue apartment say their tap water is so dirty that they haven't been able to brush their teeth or cook with it for years.

    Residents of a Snediker Avenue apartment say their tap water is so dirty that they haven't been able to brush their teeth or cook with it for years.

  • Brooklyn SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

    24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

    24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

    The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony was held Sunday, Jan. 21 in Los Angeles. Images via Getty.

    The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony was held Sunday, Jan. 21 in Los Angeles. Images via Getty.

  • President Trump's first year in office

    President Trump's first year in office

    President Trump's first year in officePresident Trump's first year in office

    Here's a look at President Trump's first year in office.

    Here's a look at President Trump's first year in office.

  • 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."