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# 676: Alleged abuser's mother questioned for five hours (fwd)


Published Wednesday, October 6, 1999, in the Miami Herald 
 Alleged abuser's mother questioned for five hours_ by JOHNNY DIAZ

 FBI agents and police on Tuesday shut down a Pembroke Pines street and
 converged on a home there in a frantic search for a 20-year-old
fugitive accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl. The agents and
Pembroke Pines Police entered the home of Willy and Marie Pompee about
8:30 a.m., spending five hours questioning Marie about her son's
 whereabouts and allegations that the family illegally kept the girl as
a maid. But as the day wore on authorities appeared no closer to finding
Willy Pompee Jr. Pines Police issued an urgent plea to the public for
help in locating him. ``He is either here or in Haiti,'' said Maryann
Flanagan, a spokeswoman for Pembroke Pines Police. ``We are actively
seeking his whereabouts.'' Investigators armed with an arrest warrant
have been seeking Willy Jr. since allegations were made that he sexually
assaulted the girl repeatedly in the family's spacious, two-story Sunset
Pointe home in Pembroke Pines. Police said the abuse began three years
ago when the girl was 9 years old and the family was living in Miami
Lakes in Miami-Dade County. A medical examination confirmed the girl had
been sexually assaulted. She remains in temporary state care during the
investigation. The warrant for Willy Jr. is for sexual battery, a
capital felony with no bond, Flanagan said. ``He is considered a
fugitive,'' she added. Tuesday morning's actions at the Pompee home at
17228 SW 13th St. were the latest in a case involving federal agents,
state child-welfare investigators and three local police departments. 
 On Friday, Miami-Dade Police thought they had caught Willy Jr. trying
to sneak on an American Airlines flight to Haiti. But it was his father,
who they questioned for 90 minutes before allowing him to leave the
country. The senior Pompee bought a round-trip ticket to Haiti last week
and was supposed to return Sunday but hasn't, sources say. FBI agents
who wanted to further question him about their investigation into the
 involuntary servitude charges were unable to stop his plane from
leaving Miami International Airport. Pembroke Pines is seeking the
younger Pompee on the sexual battery charges involving the 12-year-old
girl his family brought from Haiti three years ago. Miami-Dade Police
also entered the fray because the alleged abuse began in their
 jurisdiction; Opa-locka police are involved because the abuse was
reported there. The Department of Children and Families currently has
custody of the girl.  The case came to light after the girl told adults
at a Fort Lauderdale modeling agency and officials at her school, the
Florida International Academy in Opa-locka, that Willy Jr. would sneak
into her room late at night and force her to engage in sex. The girl
also told Opa-locka police that she was 6 years old when her mother, a
 maid for Willy Pompee Sr., died in Haiti. The girl said that after the
family brought her to South Florida they forced her to sleep on a
mattress on the floor, ordered her to wash her own clothes and to keep
the family's nearly 4,100-square-foot home spotless. Neighborhood kids
said the girl was often unable to play because of her workload.
 They said the girl was distant and shy, seldom making eye-contact when
spoken to.  The girl also feared Marie Pompee, they said, fleeing into
the house when she appeared. They said the girl's hair was often unkept,
with school officials once demanding that she tame it. Neighbors said
they knew little of the family, which includes Willy Sr., Marie,
 Willie Jr. and three young children between the ages 4 and 12. 
 State records show that Willy Pompee Sr., who travels from Miami to
Haiti often, has owned several used-clothing warehouses in Miami and
Fort Lauderdale.  The warehouses take used clothing and repackage it to
sell.  Company records show he owned Willy Rags Inc. in Miami-Dade, but
workers at the warehouse in Wynwood said it is called ``Marie's.'' 
 Marie Pompee was not available for comment Tuesday. Nobody has answered
the door at the house -- where the windows are still covered with
hurricane shutters -- in the past few days.