Neighbors heard screams before man's sex-trafficking arrest, gir - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Neighbors heard screams before man's sex-trafficking arrest, girl's body found

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Jason Quate (Source: LVMPD) Jason Quate (Source: LVMPD)

Police arrested 34-year-old Jason Quate Tuesday morning after his wife called police saying he sex trafficked his wife and abused their children, kept them hostage, and murdered their youngest daughter.

The call came Monday night. Police said Quate’s wife, the victim, managed to escape their apartment near Eastern and Sahara and called police from a women’s shelter.

She told police her husband murdered their six-year-old daughter in Illinois in 2013 and hid her body in a bin. She said he then moved the rest of the family to Las Vegas, police said.

She told police he kept her locked in a room separate from her daughters and forced her to sell herself for sex.

Police said the two teens they found inside the apartment had obvious signs of abuse, and neither of them had gone to school or been allowed out of the apartment for nearly two years.

Neighbors in the apartment complex said they had never seen the teen girls before, but they had heard fighting between the man and his wife.

“We rarely heard of them except for a few fights, and those fights would usually be in the middle of the night, they were very loud,” upstairs neighbor Robert Patterson said.

Patterson added the fights often included threats.

“He was screaming 'I will cut your head off,'” Patterson said.

Cameron Mendiola, the next door neighbor, said his family had reported the fighting to the leasing office, but nothing was done.

“The cops, nobody ever came for her. The office said they have to file a report or whatever, so the girl never stood up for herself. So nothing ever happened,” Mendiola said.

For Liz Ortenburger, CEO of Safe Nest Woman’s Shelter, this abuse is shocking, but not unheard of. 

“Is it heartbreaking, absolutely. It’s not surprising, that that was found here,” she said.

 According to Ortenburger, the transient nature of Las Vegas makes it a common move for abusers looking to isolate their victims.

"When an abuser in this scenario, he’s seeking that power and control, he’s doing that via isolation, and you see that very often," she said.

She said that’s why Safe Nest makes it a goal to advertise in public places so those looking to escape abuse can know there is help out there.

She said it’s especially important to remember in these situations, not to put the blame of the abuse on victims.  

"Instead of asking, 'Why would he do this, how could somebody be capable of something so ugly and intolerable by societal standards?' What’s the question we ask? 'Why didn’t she leave?' Right? So were starting with the question putting blame on the victim."

Police said they are considering Quate’s wife a victim. The two daughters were put in the care of child protective services, and Quate was arrested and has been charged with sex trafficking of an adult and accepting or receiving earnings of a prostitute.

Stay with FOX5 as this story develops.

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