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33-year-old man arrested in connection with trafficking of teen girl from Dallas Mavs game

Police said the man met with the 15-year-old outside of the game and took her to an unknown house in Dallas where he assaulted her.

DALLAS — Editor's note: The above video was from a previous report on the same incident.

A 33-year-old man has been arrested in connection to the trafficking of a 15-year-old girl from a Dallas Mavericks game last year. 

On April 8, 2022, a North Richland Hills teen went to a game with her dad at the American Airlines Center. She got up and went to the bathroom right before halftime and never made it back to her seat

More than a week and a half later, police found the teen in a hotel room in Oklahoma City. She had been trafficked. 

On Jan. 26, 2023, Dallas Police said officers with the US Marshal Task Force arrested Emmanuel Cartagena for the sexual assault of a child. 

Police said Cartagena met with the 15-year-old outside of the game and took her to an unknown house in Dallas where he assaulted her. In a journal entry shared by the teen's family, the teen said she was drugged by three men who assaulted her in Dallas before she was taken to Oklahoma. 

When the teen was found in that hotel room in Oklahoma City, eight people were arrested and charged, including some for human trafficking. 

In an arrest affidavit obtained by WFAA last year for the initial arrests, Oklahoma City police had received information on April 14, 2022, that a minor from the Dallas area was in Oklahoma City and "being trafficked for commercial sex purposes." Police said an online ad on a website known for prostitution showed photos of the girl.

Her parents identified her through nude photos that had been posted online in sex advertisements.

"With no Dallas arrests in the nine months since she was sexually assaulted, it has been agonizing for the victim and her parents," the family's attorney, Zeke Fortenberry, said in a statement to WFAA. "The arrest of Cartagena is progress toward seeing that justice is done, and we appreciate the efforts of the Dallas Police Department. We hope that the other suspects related to her sexual assault in Dallas will also be arrested in the near future.”

Details about Cartagena's arrest are limited. No other details have been released. 

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