TEENAGERS are being delivered to the hotel rooms of perverted Western tourists in a place dubbed a 'pedophile island', Sun Online can reveal.
Elderly and middle-aged predators are indulging in Viagra-fuelled holidays in the Dominican Republic where children are being served up to predators.
During our week-long investigation in the sleazy beach resort of Sosua, we saw numerous children being sold for sex and a taxi driver even offered to deliver an underage girl to our reporter’s bedroom.
Most of the 179,000 British tourists who visit the Caribbean island every year will know little of the dark side to the Dominican Republic - but the disturbing scenes we witnessed included an overweight tourist in his 70s groping a terrified teenager who did not look a day older than 15 years old.
The girl looked deeply uncomfortable as the man, with a German accent, fondled her private parts in full view of other tourists at around 11.30pm at night.
Another school-age girl, who could have been 15 or 16, was spotted offering up her body for sale in a bar packed full of sweaty and sunburnt Western men.
We saw teenagers wearing braces being propositioned on nightclub dance floors, a young girl being taken back to the room of a much older man, and children sitting behind bars in a sleazy hotel that locals claimed was a brothel.
We also witnessed a teenage boy being taken to a nightclub by a male tourist.
Our dispatch follows Sun Online’s bombshell report on child abuse tourism in The Gambia, which led to calls for action from around the world.
'Taxi drivers offering teenagers for sex'
Shockingly, in the sun-drenched Dominican Republic while travelling across town, a taxi driver offered to bring an underage girl to our hotel room.
The man said he was 70 years old but was regularly having sex with two teenage neighbors.
He said of the girl he would deliver: “She is beautiful with brown skin but she is very poor and she needs the money.
“I don’t know how much you should pay her, whatever feels right to you.
“I can bring her right here to your hotel. I love English tourists because they are so friendly and generous.”
At 17 years old, the girl he was offering was under the age of consent which is 18 in the Dominican Republic, which borders Haiti.
'Children are viewed as commodities'
Child protection expert and former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas told The Sun: “Children are viewed as commodities in Third World countries and Western men will travel to these places to exploit them because money buys people, whether it be a baby or a child up to 17 years old.
“Jeffrey Epstein abused his position to exploit young girls just like these men are doing in Sosua - they are the poor man’s Jeffrey Epstein.
“But this is not prostitution, it is child abuse, and adults will go to these places with the specific intention of abusing young children.
“I did a program in Cambodia some years ago and what you have found in the Dominican Republic is exactly the same with young people being pushed into the vice trade by adults.
They are the poor man’s Jeffrey Epstein.Child protection expert and former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas
“Sadly many of these girls are already on the streets or they are living in abject poverty and they are vulnerable and exploited.
“Some of these girls drift into drug taking and their lives are completely destroyed.
“The men face little risk of prosecution because if the authorities do anything they will buy their way out, either with the police or the families themselves.
“If you are a sex offender in the UK you should not be allowed to travel abroad but you can, so you are free to go wherever you like and continue to commit offences.”
'Underage prostitutes paid less than £30'
Prostitution is legal for adults in the Dominican Republic yet one in every four girls selling themselves on the island is under the age of 18, according to experts.
The cost of sex is around 2000 pesos a time, less than £30 or $40, but this is only slightly below the average monthly wage of 3000 pesos (£45 or $60).
Young girls can be seen circling the streets of Sosua as they try to attract the attention of the hordes of white men that flock here in droves.
At night the bars and clubs fill with teenagers wearing cheap makeup, crammed into tight leggings or dresses, some sporting braces on their teeth.
Sweaty sex tourists old enough to be their grandfathers and wearing plastic sandals and extra large shirts prowl around grinning as they search for their next target.
Many of the girls we spoke to had travelled hundreds of miles to offer themselves to tourists in Sosua - fittingly pronounced so-sewer - where street dealers offer generic versions of Viagra for just £1 a pill.
One called Cara* claimed to be 20 but her tiny frame suggested she was just a teenager - and experts say underage prostitutes will carry fake IDs so they can get past nightclub bouncers.
Cara said: “I don’t know where my father is and my mother is still in Haiti, where I was born.
“I live in the capital Santo Domingo with my younger brother and sister.
“I have been here in Sosua for three weeks now. I would rather be in Santo Domingo with my family but I need to make money so I can help my brother and sister.”
Another girl called Kirsty* said she started selling her body after her mother died. She claimed to be 18 years old but looked no older than 16.
She said: “I live in Santiago about two hours away but travelled here with my friend because I can make good money in Sosua.
“My mother died two months ago – she was 44-years-old - and my father is not around so I have to look after myself.
“The men who come here have lots of money and they take care of you. I have been with tourists from Germany, the United States, Canada and the UK.”
'Girls aged 13 mixing with pigs who buy them'
Police have attempted to crack down and closed 11 bars and clubs in November last year for offences ranging from trafficking to underage prostitution.
A ‘Rescue Our Paradise’ campaign was launched by the local tourist board after a popular actress called Cheddy Garcia, 50, from Santo Domingo, spoke out about the problem on social media.
She raged: “I know there are a lot of honourable families in Sosua but I want to reflect on what I’ve seen and what has hurt me as a woman, mother and citizen.
“I’m referring to the high level of child prostitution in Sosua, which is a smear on its streets at midday and night-time and visible to everyone. Girls aged 13 mixing with pigs who buy them.
“Sosua, a stunning place with paradise beaches and amazing beauty, is being raped by corruptors of misery and ignorance.”
End Child Prostitution and Trafficking - ECPAT
Children in all countries of the world are at risk of trafficking and prostitution, as well as online dangers such as grooming, sextortion and the proliferation of child sexual abuse images.
In recent years, the travel and tourism sector has imperilled millions of children worldwide as travelling child sex offenders find new victims.
To end these crimes, knowledge and evidence must be of the highest possible quality to inform decisions and guide action.
ECPAT is conducting primary research, as well as bringing together information from various sectors and countries around the world, to form a reliable and professional range of academic sources.
The charity supports the protection of children and empowerment of 113 members in 98 countries - including The Gambia.
You can donate to ECPAT here.
Like The Gambia in West Africa, where we reported on the huge number of predators taking sick paedophile holidays earlier this year, Sosua sees large numbers of Western men spending their free time with local children.
Our reporter was frequently approached by hawkers in the street offering bootleg Viagra.
The quick flash of a silver packet filled with distinctive diamond shaped blue pills was the common signal to attract the attention of passing sex tourists.
One dealer looked around nervously as he offered a packet of half a dozen for 400 pesos, roughly £1 a pill.
He said: “They’re much cheaper than the ones you get in the pharmacy and strong too. You only need one and it will keep you going all day.
“I can get you girls too. Any girl you want. Do you want a fat one or a thin one? But don’t let her see you take the pill or she will charge you double because she will know you’ll keep going all night.”
'A pedophile’s playground'
A 2017 United Nations report found that child abuse is rife in the Dominican Republic and particularly in Sosua, which has become a pedophile’s playground.
Convicted British predators that have travelled there include William Rogers, who was jailed for seven years by Harrow Crown Court for abusing two girls under the age of 11 in 1997.
He was released in 2000 and allowed to move to the Caribbean island in 2006 where he taught at a school and molested children until he was finally thrown back in jail while visiting the UK, aged 79, in 2014.
Ralph Baker skipped bail after being caught with 400 indecent images of children in 2006. He moved to the Puerto Plata area, which includes Sosua, and lived with two children before Surrey police caught up with the 67-year-old and had him deported in 2012.
UN Special Rapporteur Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, who led the mission in the Dominican Republic, found paedophiles were able to operate there with “impunity.”
She told The Sun: “What I saw there was really striking because it was happening openly, in full view of everyone.
“During the day the beach would be filled with single, middle-aged men drinking beer.
“You would not see any families but you would see young girls and it was clear what they were doing there.
“The men were just sitting around, waiting for it to get dark so they could carry out their dirty business.”
'Taxi drivers deliver kids to predators'
Eduardo Gallardo, Deputy Representative of UNICEF for the Dominican Republic, confirmed that taxi drivers were amongst those who will deliver children to tourists.
He revealed: “Child sex tourism is not hidden there.
“It’s not always easy to calculate the ages of the girls being exploited but I know that prosecutors have found victims aged from 14 years old.
“The girls will be offered by people working in the tourism industry - taxi drivers, the woman who offers massages on the beach, the street sellers and barmen and waiters.
“And we have seen cases where foreigners offer poor families telephone credits or home improvement payments for time with their daughters.”
Criminal lawyer and congressional candidate Jose Martinez Brito investigated child abuse in his home country as part of a 2018 documentary.
He said: “We once saw a nine-year-old girl dressed in club clothing and with full make-up.
“We didn’t have our cameras that night so we could not take a photo but it was clear to us that it is easy to buy children in Sosua.
“Girls will start selling their bodies from the age of about 13 and we also have a big problem with tourists pretending to adopt children so they can abuse them.
“There has been a crackdown recently because we have elections coming, but that has only driven the trade underground, it is still happening all the time.”
'Children's families even make them available'
Maria Josefina Paulino, founder of a child protection organisation called MAIS, said: “Most of the tourists who come to the Dominican Republic are law-abiding citizens who come here with their families.
“But foreigners come to the Dominican Republic under the guise of tourism to commit crimes against young girls and boys.
“It’s an awful situation, a real stain on our beautiful island and it needs to be stopped.
“You won’t see girls of 11 or 12 on the streets or in the bars but they are available to paedophiles who come here looking for it.
“They can find what they want with the right contacts. Sometimes it’s even the children’s families who are making them available.
“Money talks and this is a poor island.”
*Names have been changed.