Last year two 13-year-old Alexandria girls decided to run away from home and explore the night life of Washington's 14th Street red light district.
"We had been having some problems in school and we just thought we would run away for awhile," one of the girls said in a statement to D. C. police 18 months ago. "We had both seen that TV program 'Little Ladies of the Night' and we decided to come into D.C."
During their stay in the city, according to the girls' statements, they took drugs, drank liquor, had sex with strange men, on one occasion for $35.
One of the girls testified in Arlington Circuit Court yesterday that she was abducted for two of the four days they were away from home and kept in motels and an apartment in Arlington while being groomed for alife of prostitution.
The testimony came on the first day in the trial of Leon Harold Robinson, 26 of 19 42nd St. NE. who is charged with rape and detention for the purpose of prostitution.
Robinson is the last of three Washington men to be tried in the incident. Marcus Albert Payne has been sentenced to 39 years in prison for rape, sodomy and abduction; Mark Anthony Dozier has been sentenced to 15 years for abduction.
According to the statement of one of the girls, she and her friend arrived in Washington by bus on Jan. 17, 1977.
Two days later, in a sandwich shop near Thomas Circle, one of the girls testified yesterday, Payne approached and "asked if I wanted to go to Las Vegas. I said no."
She testified Payne pulled her from the shop and into a car but that she did not scream or try to attract attention.
The girl testified that Robinson, who was with Payne, drove to the Southgate Motel on Glebe Road near Shirley Highway, where Payne asked her to work for him as a prostitute.
The next day, she testified, she was taken to an apartment at the Arna Valley Apartments in Arlington where a woman curled her hair, put makeup on her and gave her a green outfit to wear. Payne then told her to charge $50 for acts of prostitution.
On two occasions, the girl testified, she was taken to Crystal City motels to "ask guys for dates," but she didn't follow her instructions, and when Payne later found out, he slapped her and dropped her off in Washington.
The girl testified she never called for help or tried to flee because she was afraid.
Robinson's attorney, Gerald F. Treanor, attacked the girl's testimony, emphasizing details she could not remember and asserting that there were contradictions in her testimony and statements to police. he urged the jury to "see if the evidence aligns itself, pay attention to the time." The trial will continue today.