Iowa sex trafficking victim shares her story - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa sex trafficking victim shares her story

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If you passed Heather Rios on the street, you would never know the pain she lives with every day.

She plays with her toddler with a smile, she's happy. But she traveled a long road to get here.

"I remember the first night, the lady took me out of the room, and actually bathed me," Rios said. "She put me in this provocative outfit and took me downstairs to meet this guy who was going to pick me up.

"She said (to him), 'If she doesn't do what you want her to, just take her out on the highway and shoot her,'" Rios added.

When Rios was 16, she went to a party in Cedar Rapids, and decided to travel to Milwaukee with some people she met.

They promised her a good time. But when they got there, Rios realized something wasn't right.

She was taken to a room in deplorable conditions and was tortured there for three months.

"I felt like I was going to die," Rios said. "Like, I really won't get to go home."

They starved her.

"I can count on both my hands how many times I ate," she said.

She had no control of what happened to her.

"In the park there were like, five people waiting for me," she remembered. "I hadn't realized he sold me."

Finally, an opportunity arose, and Rios was able to flag down someone for help.

Three people were arrested, and they remain on the sex offender list today. 

If you passed Heather on the street, you would never know her story, because that book is closed.

"I will not be anyone's victim anymore," she said. "I refuse. I'm done."

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