The South Fort Myers High School sex scandal has garnered international headlines as district officials and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office sort through the shocking details involving a single 15-year-old girl having sex with 25 boys in a school bathroom.
— TV20 Detroit (@tv20detroit) May 20, 2016
The mother of the 15-year-old Fort Myers girl at the center of the sex scandal spoke with NBC News and said she wanted to “set the record straight” and share her daughter’s side of the story. The unnamed woman did not want to be shown on camera, so she enlisted the aid of a woman who has worked with her daughter to serve as a family representative with the media outlet.
“A bunch of football players went into a room with a girl and had sex with her, and a bunch of the football players were suspended,” student Alex Bailey told WBBH. “So we might not have a football team this year.”
The South Fort Myers High School female student’s mother maintains the 15-year-old girl was a victim of human trafficking.
“I had heard a lot about the incident through the news. I heard it, and thought they’re some red flags,” said Megan Estrem, the family’s representative and CEO of Be the Light. “What’s upsetting about this is this behavior is not uncommon for human trafficking victims.”
Be the Light is an advocacy group for victims of “sex slavery.”
“Sex trafficking is a very traumatizing experience,” Megan Estrem added. “She was only 13 when she was trafficked.”
The Fort Myers mother reportedly took her daughter to speak with Estrem after the girl was allegedly rescued from a human trafficker who had held her captive for two years.
The Fort Myers girl reportedly underwent treatment in multiple programs to help her deal with the emotional fallout from the human trafficking. The 15-year-old girl most recently spent eight months in a treatment program. The family representative said because the girl was a runaway, not many programs would accept her for treatment and none fully addressed the vast impact of the sexual abuse she endured.
“She did get some help, but it wasn’t specific for what she needed,” Estrem also said.
To date, 25 South Fort Myers High School male students have been disciplined for engaging in inappropriate activity with the girl in the school bathroom, the Daily Mail reports.
The 15-year-old girl was a student at the Fort Myers high school for just two weeks before the group sex incident took place on the campus. Estrem maintains the human trafficking victim was not capable of making a “rational decision” in the scenario.
According to the girl’s mother, her daughter went into the boys’ restroom to talk with a boy she had a crush on. When the boy said or indicated he wanted to have sex once she got inside, the girl allegedly immediately complied with his request.
Word quickly spread about the pair having sex in the bathroom, according to the mother and the Be the Light representative.
“She did not sleep with 25 boys in the bathroom. There was only a handful that she did sleep with. In this case, it was more of a spectator sport,” Estrem said. “She has been in an environment where she has been told to behave a certain way, and there were severe consequences if she didn’t.”
The entire sex in the school bathroom incident started and ended in under an hour because all of the students had to leave and go elsewhere on the Fort Myers campus.