A mother and son have been indicted on federal child sex trafficking charges over allegations they brought women and girls from the Mexican states of Durango and Coahuila to a Mission bar where they were sold for sex.
Rita Martinez is charged with 11 counts of sex trafficking of children by force, fraud or coercion while her son Genaro Fuentes is facing six counts of the same charge.
Rita Martinez and Genaro Fuentes
The indictment alleges the trafficking happened from 1996 to 2019 and describes how Fuentes would sexually assault newly arrived women and girls to “try them,” and how the girls and women faced beatings from Martinez.
“Martinez would tell the women and girls, and their families, that she would bring them to the United States to work at her restaurant or to clean houses,” the indictment stated. “Martinez would then arrange and pay for ‘coyotes’ to bring the women and girls into the United States.”
When they arrived, Martinez told them they owed her a smuggling debt and needed to work it off in her bar, which was located at 7700 W. Mile 7 Road and called Rita’s Sport’s Bar, also known as Perez Lounge or Rita’s Lounge.
The now-abandoned bar is across the street from Juarez-Lincoln High School.
The indictment says Martinez told the women and girls they would make money by drinking beers with clients and that they would collect tokens for each beer sold to a client, which would be how they paid down their smuggling debts.
“After some days or weeks after each woman or girl began working at Martinez’s bar, Martinez would arrange for clients to take the woman or girl out of the bar to have commercial sex,” the indictment stated.
An abandoned trailer is seen behind Rita’s Sports Bar on Wednesday in Mission. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
Federal prosecutors allege the clients, who included a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper, would arrange for dates and negotiate the terms for particular sex acts with Martinez.
If she was absent, they would negotiate with Fuentes, according to the indictment.
“Clients would take the women and girls to nearby motels, Martinez’s home, trailers behind the bar, or their personal vehicles, to engage in commercial sex,” the indictment stated.
If a girl resisted, the client would complain to Martinez who told them they needed to comply in order to pay their …….