The holiday season is again upon us and, if there’s anything more inevitable than the dazed, horror-stricken look of retail workers, it’s being reminded that although the weather outside can be frightful, people are much, much worse.
It’s that kind of story. You have been warned.
On December 20, 2020, Fort Wayne PD received a call from an anonymous source stating that her friend—a minor— was being forced to marry an adult against her will that very night. Officers went the scene, where they interrupted what generations past would’ve politely referred to as a “child wedding” in progress. Zee Kdee Ya, the 27-year-old prospective groom and possible ephebophile, was taking the hand of a girl only 13 years old.
Wearing a veil, dress, and make-up, the would-be child bride told police her parents had signed a wedding contract against her wishes the week prior to the ceremony. Despite saying she “didn’t want that,” the girl had been forced to move in with Ya and share his bed since then. When she resisted his attempts at sex, he reportedly quoted biblical passages to suit his purpose and said “I own you now, I can make you do what I want.” The victim sought help from her parents but, according to court documents, they said she “needed to have sex with Ya because he was now her husband.”
When questioned, the girl’s mother claimed the victim was only getting engaged and wouldn’t actually get married until she was 18. However, Se Dar Be then went on to admit the family had received gifts from the groom in return, including cash, and that she had “used the $2,000″ he’d paid to provide food for the party to celebrate the highly illegal wedding (plus buy that makeup for the victim). The father, Sadid Mot, told police the girl had been living with Ya but denied knowing anything about the money.
Ya confirmed both the mother’s claims concerning the gifts and money, as well as the father’s claim that the girl had been moved in with him, but denied forcing her to share a bed. He then went on to say that because the girl had cancelled the wedding, he wanted his money and jewelry back.
The Department of Child Services had reportedly told both father Sadid Mot and too-eager groom Ya that the nuptuals were against the law due to the girl’s age “on multiple occasions prior to Dec. 20.” Mot and mother Be were charged with one count each of Child Selling and Neglect of a Dependent. Ya was also charged with Neglect of a Dependent, as well as Child Solicitation.