15-year-old girl being pimped by girlfriend for money and drugs, High Court hears

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has secured High Court orders allowing it to place a teenager being pimped to men by her girlfriend for money and drugs at a secure facility for troubled teens.

The CFA sought the orders over concerns for the 15-year-old girl's life and welfare following several incidents in recent weeks.

The concerns include that the girl, who has a history of absconding for days and is deemed extremely vulnerable, has been sexually assaulted and abused on many occasions. She was pimped out to several men by her older girlfriend for "€20 and drugs", including crack cocaine and heroin, the CFA claim.

The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has been taking illegal drugs and alcohol before being pimped out to the men.

One of several men who had unprotected sex with the teenager is an Eastern European man who is HIV positive.

While the girl has not developed the condition, she has not been taking medication prescribed to her aimed at preventing her from developing HIV.

There is also a risk that the girl may become pregnant, as the only contraceptive she is known to have used on occasions is the morning after pill.

The girl, who was in several placements, had most recently been staying with her father who, the court heard, has been trying to help her. In order to prevent her from absconding the father had removed handles from doors and latches from windows so she could not get out.

At the High Court Mr Justice Alexander Owens granted the CFA various interim orders, including allowing it to detain the teen at its facility for troubled teens in Ballydowd in Dublin.

The CFA says the girl will be kept safe at the facility, where she will be able to access the supports and healthcare she requires.

The order was granted on an ex-parte basis, and was sought after a place the CFA has available for minors in its special care units became available.

The judge also appointed a qualified social worker to act as the girl's independent guardian ad litem.

Seeking the orders David Leahy Bl for the CFA said in his eight years making applications to have young persons placed in secure care, this case was the most "stark".

There were serious concerns for the girl's physical health and mental well being, and her family had indicated their general support that the girl get the help she requires.

The girl is in a relationship with an older girl, counsel said, but the reality was this person "acted more as the teen's pimp".

One of the men believed to have sexually assaulted her is her girlfriend's brother, the court heard.

Counsel said that the gardaí are investigating certain matters, including the girl's claims about being sexually abused.

There is also a probe into the possibility that she may have participated in the making of child pornography.

The girl is now in a situation where her life is at risk, counsel said.

There were also concerns that the girl might be suicidal, and that she had been involved in "a suicide pact".

Counsel said that the reports are that the girl is quite bright, but had not been in school for some time.

The staff at the school had expressed their concerns for the girl, who claimed to have been bullied there.

She had been put in various placements, but these had not worked out.

In addition, she had not engaged with various services or attended appointments made for her with healthcare professionals.

The matter will return before the Court next week.

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