WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A woman says she was raped, burned and brutally beaten by a man she met outside out a Waikiki nightclub.
The woman, who asked that her name not be used, says she wanted Hawaii News Now to tell her story — and share the disturbing pictures of her injuries — so that others can avoid the same fate.
Around 4 a.m. Sunday, the 21-year-old victim says, she agreed to hang out with a pair of men she met outside a nightclub in Waikiki.
Looking back, she says, it was suspicious from the very beginning.
"They started speaking Spanish to each other. The other one was like, 'No, you got this. I'll meet you back by Alley Cat afterwards,'" she said.
The woman says she and the man walked west, down Kuhio Avenue, for about block and they ended up in a hotel's valet parking lot.
"The guy started randomly going up to the vans and open the doors. I was like, 'What are you doing? Are these not your cars?'" she said. "'Are you trying to break into these peoples cars?'"
When he didn't respond, the woman says, she informed him that she was going to leave. Moments later, she says she was struck in the back of the head and shoved into the backseat of an SUV.
"All of a sudden he started to choke me, to the point where I couldn't scream or anything. I couldn't even make a squeal because he was choking me so hard," she says.
He raped her repeatedly, she says, and continually punched and choked her. When it was over, he warned her against making any sort of disturbance.
"He said, 'We're gonna get out of the car and I'm gonna put you in a van. If you make a noise, or you scream, I'm gonna kill you,'" she says. "Right when he opened the door, I started to scream."
He then burned her mouth with the flame of a lighter as retribution, she says.
Eventually, the woman says, she went unconscious, waking up later with a security guard standing over her. She doesn't know who her attacker was, but fears he could have been a sex trafficker.
"By the way he did it to me, I don't think this is his first rodeo. I don't think this is the first time he's done this to someone," she says. "It seems as if he was really experienced."
Sex trafficking experts say the way the two men seemed to have worked together – and the sudden brutal violence – are signs it might have been the work of a trafficking ring, but it's still too early to tell.
The victim says her attacker is about 5-foot-9, weighs about 150 pounds, and speaks both English and Spanish.
Anyone with information, call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.