Skip to main content

tv   Nightline  ABC  May 20, 2015 12:37am-1:08am EDT

12:37 am
this is "nightline." >> tonight mansion murder mystery. it went up in flames with a successful couple their young son and housekeeper inside. but it may not have been the fire that killed them. tonight, the new developments reports of suspicious noises heard just hours before the fire and a possible person of interest caught on this surveillance video. plus he's the bull riding pastor. what brings them together? jesus, they say. tonight, how one family's wild show is steering believers by the thousands to their highly unusual, highly entertaining, and yes, controversial church. and funny girls. they were in bridesmaids. but in real life they actually get along. tonight, they're teaming up for
12:38 am
a new action comedy "spy." how would you like to have jude law as a love interest? first, the "nightline 5." num
12:39 am
12:40 am
>> for those who plan their summer vacations around things like roller-coaster rides, it will be a disturbing shock to find out that a growing number of americans are planning their trips around a very different sort of attraction -- buying underage girls. tonight, we're gonna take another look at a six-month "nightline" investigation halfway around the globe, where americans are not only buying but also selling underage sex. "nightline" producer alex waterfield and abc's alex marquardt went undercover in the philippines with the authorities, planning a high-stakes raid. >> [ laughs ] >> tonight, in a far-flung part of the philippines arthur benjamin is in a good mood... >> all the pretty girls running around -- i'm good! >> ...laughing, drinking, ogling the girls dancing on stage at this bar, which he says he owns. this is your life?
12:41 am
>> in a nutshell, pretty much. [ laughs ] >> benjamin is a 49-year-old american suspected of having sex with underage girls and selling them for sex out of this bar called crow bar. but as he drinks, benjamin has no idea that at that very moment... >> the first target is gonna be in the crow bar. >> ...filipino and american authorities are just a few miles away... >> see you out there. good luck. >> ...plotting a raid that will bring his world crashing down. >> okay, we're ready. >> this is the story of arthur benjamin. we travelled to subic bay, a beautiful part of the western philippines, where benjamin has been living for 25 years. but our journey went deeper, past benjamin, into the dark and disturbing world of underage prostitution, discovering how all too easy it is to buy sex th underage girls. how old are you? >> 14. >> you're 14. the philippines has quietly emerged as a top destination for americans not just looking
12:42 am
to have sex... ...but to sell sex, as well. >> a lot of the americans want to come here because they perceive it is easier to operate here than in the united states. and we're happy to remind them that they are sadly mistaken. >> eric mcloughlin is a special agent with the immigration and customs enforcement agency investigating americans who may be committing crimes here in the philippines. for the benjamin case, he recently teamed up with a local nonprofit organization called preda... >> we have our undercover team. >> ...which has been gathering evidence against benjamin for months. >> it's my job as a u.s. law-enforcement investigator to determine if those allegations are accurate. and if they are accurate, we will pursue them to the ends of the earth to make sure they're held accountable. >> we want to meet benjamin and see for ourselves what's going on inside that bar. >> red light -- recording. >> so, producer alex waterfield and i put on these tiny hidden cameras that look like shirt buttons.
12:43 am
we hop on a local jitney to head down to a rundown part of town to benjamin's bar. we don't know what to expect. >> hello, sir! >> around a dozen young women are milling around, including this one. what is your name? >> princess. >> princess is one of the most popular girls in the bar. she's just 16 years old. and it's not long before princess and another girl are offered to us. 1,500 pesos -- just under $40. mama lucy is what's called a mamasan. she manages the girls. we decline her offer, but she calls benjamin to come meet us. alex. >> alex? art. >> pleasure to meet you. within minutes, the 6'6" texan tells us about his sex life and his business. a former waitress had written
12:44 am
to his wife in california on facebook, which leads to this shocking and frank statement. >> [ laughs ] >> oblivious to our hidden cameras, benjamin tells us he has a 16-year-old girlfriend who lives in a house out back. and after texting her to come over, she walks in. she's so young we're blurring her face to protect her identity.
12:45 am
>> [ laughs ] >> benjamin's declaration was so stunning, the following morning we felt we had to alert special agent eric mcloughlin. but he says building a case against benjamin requires more evidence. so, this guy saying on tape, "i've had sex with underage girls repeatedly" -- that's not enough to arrest him. >> no. it's a very strong indication, but as investigators we have to prove these actual acts occur. to me, just saying that, that's not enough. >> the key might be this 18-year-old girl, named marisol. until december she worked at benjamin's bar. today, marisol has come to the preda center, the nonprofit that began tracking benjamin and identifies in photos four girls who worked there, who she says are underage, including the one we met, princess. why did you decide to tell your story? what did you want to happen? >> [ speaking native language ] >> interpreter: "i felt hopeless working in the bar," she says, "and that my friends, especially
12:46 am
the minors, feel the same way. i wanted to tell my story and to save them." >> benjamin isn't the only american capitalizing on the demand. many in this long string of bars in subic bay are owned or managed by americans. many of them are military veterans. subic bay was home to a u.s. naval base for almost 50 years providing a boon to the prostitution industry. to see how easy it is for americans to find underage girls, we visited the neighboring town of angeles, 45 minutes from subic bay and
12:47 am
art benjamin's bar. it takes less than half an hour before we're approached by this woman, who offers us not just young girls but virgins. how many different girls do you have? and for each one it's 30,000, or $750. we will talk about it, and maybe we'll come back and see you, okay? >> okay. >> later that night we meet the woman and the girls near a busy intersection. how old are you? >> 15. >> you're 15? and you? >> 14. >> you're 14. you're in school. what grade are you in? >> second. >> second -- so, eighth grade. you look very nervous. >> [ laughing ] no! >> don't be scared. it's okay. this is your aunt? >> yeah. aunty. >> this is your aunty. >> yeah. >> she loves you? >> yeah. very much. >> then, why is she asking you to do this?
12:48 am
well, that was incredibly disturbing. they were both obviously so young, and it was so easy for us to find them. we said no, thank you and walked away. when we come back... >> crow bar -- that's it. go. that's it. we've got to be fluid and fast. get out. go. >> authorities decide to make the final move on arthur benjamin. >> i want to see your hands! sit down! >> but will they have enough evidence to arrest him? if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira giving me new perspective. doctors have been prescribing humira for ten years. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms.
12:49 am
humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers including lymphoma have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. talk to your doctor and visit humira.com this is humira at work
12:50 am
12:51 am
(female announcer) you could win $1,000 a day for life... (husband) hon! it's grover cleveland! (female announcer) ...when you play the new cash4life, from the pennsylvania lottery. (grover) nice! (husband) 3 club seats. 50 yard line. (female announcer) that means you too could experience the joy of winning. every day, for the rest of your life. (grover) new wheels. nice. see you tomorrow!
12:52 am
(female announcer) cash4life from the pennsylvania lottery. play for fun. cash for life.
12:53 am
>> we're back now with this special edition of "nightline." adolescents are traded like currency every day in developing countries, where the sex-tourism business is booming. and tonight we're with the international authorities, closing in on the american man with a bar in the philippines, where underage girls cost little more than a cocktail. >> hey, art. it's alex. how are you? i'm on the phone with arthur benjamin, a 49-year-old texan who's suspected of pimping out underage girls from his bar in the philippines called crow bar. he has no idea that right now authorities are closing in on him. all right. sounds good. we make plans to meet up one last time before the raid. >> [ laughs ] >> over coffee in broad daylight he tells us how he met his 16-year-old girlfriend, jade. we met her two days ago at his bar.
12:54 am
and this time he tells us more about the business side of running crow bar -- how, with the help of his mamasan, lucy, underage girls have worked for him, as well. and how they avoided trouble when authorities last stopped by the bar. just down the road at the preda center... >> we're on standby. >> ...father shay cullen, the irish priest who first started tracking benjamin, has gotten word the raid has been given the green light. six months of investigating have come down to this. a team of investigators working with father shay has booked a fake bachelor party at crow bar to guarantee benjamin will be there. i'm invited to be a guest, to
12:55 am
be inside as it goes down. we head inside, and the party quickly gets into full swing. but no benjamin. mama lucy is there. and you organized all the girls for tonight? >> yes. >> hi! >> so is 16-year-old princess, who just that week got braces. >> how are you? >> after 45 tense minutes, benjamin finally shows up. >> [ laughs ] >> even jade briefly makes an appearance. he has no idea that at that very moment... >> we want to maximize the victims that we rescue. >> ...american i.c.e. agents led by eric mcloughlin... >> we've got to be fluid and fast. >> ...father shay, filipino federal police, and government social workers have all gathered to go over the final plan for the raid. >> they will be all gone if we don't make a move there. >> after a long and chaotic meeting... >> okay, you've got to hit it. the bar will be closed. you're gonna lose them all.
12:56 am
>> ...it's time to move out. >> okay, we're ready. let's do it. it's coming up here on the left. it's these bars up here on the left. you can see the sign -- crow bar. that's it. go. that's it. stop, stop. get out. go! no talking. quiet. >> it's a raid. >> benjamin looks stunned. at first he doesn't move. >> girls. >> the girls are herded into one corner of the bar. >> sit down. i want to see your hands. sit down! no talking. we'll talk to you soon. >> none of the girls admit to being underage. so, dentists start examining their teeth -- one of the easiest ways to tell someone's age. benjamin quietly tries to slip out but is blocked by a filipina agent. we're with abc news. that's when we decide to finally reveal our identities. you told us that you have had underage sex with multiple girls and that underage girls have worked in this bar. what do you say now? >> i disagree. i have never had underage girls
12:57 am
here, and i do not have sex with underage girls. >> you've never had sex with underage girl, and if none work here, why did you tell us that? >> it's just talk. >> you were just bragging? >> yeah, pretty much. braggadocio. >> just now you showed me your girlfriend, who's underage. >> my girlfriend isn't here. i don't have a girlfriend. >> your girlfriend, jade -- chocolatte -- she doesn't exist? >> nope! >> then, we tell him that everything is on hidden camera. does that change anything, what you just told me? >> nope, not at all. >> 16-year-old princess cowers in the corner with the others. none turn on benjamin. what do you think of arthur benjamin? is he a good man? is he an evil man? >> he's a good man. he's a nice man. >> he treats you well? >> yeah. >> as you can see here, it's not like the movies. we're not greeted with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. it doesn't go that way. a lot of times, unfortunately, they view us as the enemy, because they've grown up in this environment. they've been here for a while. trying to get them comfortable enough to where they feel that they can talk to us -- they realize we're here to help them. it's a significant challenge. >> after an hour, the
12:58 am
authorities feel they have enough to arrest benjamin. >> but -- but why? what did i do? >> there's no minors here. >> where? there are no minors here. okay, fine. i'll go with you. i got no problem with that. >> were you surprised at his demeanor and how calm he was and denying everything? >> no, no, we see that a lot. it's got to shock. it probably feels very surreal right now. and he'll probably go to sleep very soundly, like we've seen before, and wake up tomorrow and realize what just happened. "my world has taken a dramatically different course from what i assumed." he is in for certainly a long road ahead. >> as benjamin waits in the van, we have one last chance to speak with him. six hours ago, when the evening started, did you ever think that it would end like this? >> no. i thought you were a nice guy. now i find out you're an [bleep] >> what do you think should happen to you? >> i think they should let me go, and they can talk to me later, whenever i happen to be around. >> what do you think is going to happen? >> they're going to take me to manila, and it's gonna really be
12:59 am
a pain in the ass. >> you said that -- >> bye. >> you said your number two, mama lucy, was a master at getting underage girls to work in your bar. >> bye. >> deny it all? >> absolutely. >> when we come back, as benjamin is driven away to a manila jail on suspicion of child abuse, there's fighting over where the girls will go and uncertainty over what is next for them. good. very good. you see something moving off the shelves and your first thought is to investigate the company. you are type e*. yes, investment opportunities can be anywhere... or not. but you know the difference. e*trade's bar code scanner. shorten the distance between intuition and action. e*trade opportunity is everywhere. introducing the first ever gummy multivitamin
1:00 am
from centrum. a complete, and tasty new way to support... your energy... immunity... and metabolism like never before. centrum multigummies. see gummies in a whole new light. at red lobster's create your own seafood trio... ...if it looks tasty you order it. choose 3 of 9 dishes for just $15.99. like baked lobster alfredo. brown butter shrimp scampi. and soy-ginger salmon. hey, this is my plate. get yours while you still can.
1:01 am
1:02 am
1:03 am
>> tonight, here on this special edition of "nightline," we've gone inside the dark world where young girls are bought and sold on the cheap in the philippines. but for some, this business is the only way they can imagine earning a livelihood. so, will a sting operation
1:04 am
really set them on the path to freedom? >> with arthur benjamin arrested, the attention turns to the girls from his bar. 16-year-old princess sits in a van with the others. do you think you'll go back to working in the bars? no? you're done? >> if anything happens to this... >> the authorities and father shay cullen argue about where to take the girls, who need to see social workers. >> hey! where's the dswd? >> father shay has dedicated his life to saving young boys and girls. it was his tenacious work that got the authorities to carry out the raid on benjamin's bar. but tonight he doesn't take any time to savor the arrest. you don't look as relieved as i thought you would be. >> this is our work. >> amid the confusion, there's also anger. are you angry at art benjamin? >> no. >> no? these young women -- their livelihoods have just been taken away. >> how would you provide food for your family if it was either sell your body or they starve to
1:05 am
death? when you ask yourself that same question, it's heartbreaking. >> are the authorities doing enough to stop this? >> no, they are doing very, very little, i'm sorry to say. there are some good, dedicated people. they're struggling. they have no budgets, no money. we have to go this on our own. >> princess, who gave us permission to show her face, is now staying in a government facility, working with social workers. so are four others from the bar who are suspected of being minors. marisol, who led father shay to benjamin, says she is never going back to the bars and wants to start a new life. 16-year-old jade, benjamin's girlfriend, is nowhere to be found. the authorities found her house behind the bar empty. as massive as this problem is, father shay remains optimistic. >> i don't think "give up" is in our vocabulary. we will fight on. we've got all these children to save, and we rehabilitate and give them a new life and a great start in the future. we have a good organization here in preda, and so, we'll keep on. we never give up.
1:06 am
>> for "nightline," i'm alex marquardt in subic bay in the philippines. >> and our thanks to alex marquardt and producer alex waterfield for that report. and thank you for watching abc news tonight. tune in to "gma" first thing in the morning. and, as always, we're online 24/7 at abcnews.com. thanks again for watching and good night. >> abc news -- honored. winner of 5 edward r. murrow awards, including being singled out, recognized as the winner for overall excellence in television and radio. no wonder more americans choose [cheers and applause] [dramatic music] ♪ ♪ >> yeah! yeah! yeah! yeah! whoo! [cheers and applause] whoo! hello, and welcome to millionaire. i'm terry crews. some of you might know me from brooklyn nine-nine and i am lucky enough to also be here hosting millionaire. [cheers and applause]
1:07 am
today's returning contestant is a flight attendant who is flying high and back for her second leg of her trip here at millionaire. please fasten your seat belts. she's only 4 questions away from round 2. from houston, texas, please welcome allie santiago. [cheers and applause] >> hey! >> hi, allie. come on over here. how you doing? >> i'm doing okay. >> come on through. >> all right. >> all right. >> all right, good to see you again. >> amazing. listen, i heard you know how to speak, like, tons of languages. you can say, like, "thank you" in, like, 30 languages. >> yes. i love the word of gratitude. i think that really brings people together, and i can do a few languages-- amharic, ethiopian-- in ethiopia, that's amesege'nallo'. philippines: salamat. japanese: domo arigato gozai masu. >> oh! >> blagodaria bulgaria. goes on and on.

52 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on