Exclusive: Father of Tampa teen sex trafficking victim speaks out

Cedric Gatlin

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A heartbroken Tampa father, who chose not to be identified, tells News Channel 8 he’s fighting for justice after learning his 13-year-old daugher was a victim of sex trafficking.

Cedric Gatlin, 42, landed in a TPD investigation when police responded to an anonymous tip and found the 13-year-old drugged and naked in his bed.

The teen told detectives she was given cocaine and molly and was forced to have sex with multiple men.

“I’m 30-years-old. I’ve never done cocaine in my life and my daughter’s 13 and she’s been on it. That is going to have an effect on a child,” said the teen’s father.

The father said he was disgusted by the news and worries his daughter will never be the same.

“Man there are nights that I throw up thinking about this. When I see my daughter and I see the pain in my daughter’s eyes, my daughter doesn’t even look the same,” he said. “She looks older now. I think he stole a piece of her childhood.”

Gatlin was jailed after police found cocaine in his possession. He’s out on bond while detectives further investigate the sex trafficking claims.

“I hope he rots somewhere. I hope he gets just what he deserves,” the father said.

TPD wouldn’t say much on the case as it’s an ongoing investigation. A spokesman said more charges are possible for Gatlin.

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