Lena in 2005
Lena in 2007
|Portrayed by||Ksenia Solo|
Lena Golovnka is a 15 year-old girl who was taken from the Ukraine to the United States as part of a human trafficking ring by "Nachalnik" in 2005. She was befriended by a longshoreman named Mike Chulaski who attempted to rescue her from a life of forced prostitution.
Lena had no family, having come from an orphanage in the Ukraine. She and several other girls were smuggled into the U.S. in a cargo container, having been told that a man name Kiril (actually one of Nachalnik's employees) would have a job waiting for them.
Lena became sick, probably from the unsanitary conditions in the container, and by the time Mike stumbled upon the container, she had developed a fever. Mike took her to his boss Roy Gardocki's office to recover. Once she was more lucid, she asked Mike to call Kiril for her, not understanding what that "job" would be.
Mike, who had no family himself, quickly bonded with the girl. He took her to stay the night on his boat, and the next day took her to a community center to help her get a visa. When a worker there, Linda Boyka, said she would likely be deported, Lena became concerned. She quietly made a phone call to Kiril when Mike wasn't looking, and fled.
When Kiril caught up with her, however, she soon found herself caught in the nightmarish world of forced prostitution that Mike had attempted to protect her from. When she resisted, Nachalnik (who, as it turns out, was actually Boyka, the woman from the community center), burned her feet with a cigarette and kept her isolated in another room.
Mike was eventually able to find the house where Lena was being kept. Another girl, Kateryna Yechenko, led him to Lena's room, though she was unable to walk because of her burned feet.
After Kateryna warned them that Nachalnik was coming, Mike gave Lena a necklace of St. Nicholas to keep her safe until he came back. Boyka then had her hired muscle Yuri forcibly remove Mike from the house, threatening to kill him if he came back.
Mike was eventually able to come to an agreement with Boyka however, offering $50,000 to buy Lena's freedom. Kiril took Lena to the Starlight Motel to make the trade, keeping Lena in another room with Kateryna watching over her while he dealt with Mike.
Lena was clearly excited, telling Kateryna all the things Mike had promised her, when the phone rang. Kateryna answered it and told Lena that Mike had changed his mind. He wanted a girlfriend for sex and had asked for Kateryna, "the pretty one". Kateryna left the heartbroken and crying Lena in the room, where someone eventually found her and took her back to another of Boyka's houses. She still held on to Mike's necklace while she endured two years as one of Boyka's girls.
Eventually, in 2007, the authorities found and raided the house. Lena was confronted by a detecive name Lilly Rush. When Lilly recognized Lena from her necklace and burned feet, she started questioning Lena about Mike. Lena denied that was her name at first, until Lilly told her that Mike was dead; he'd been murdered.
Believing Mike had abandoned her, Lena told her about the night at the motel and learned for the first time that Kateryna had lied. The phone call had actually been from Kiril saying he'd back in an hour, as he was going to check out Mike's boat, which he'd offered to trade for Lena. Kateryna had gone to Mike's room and begged him to take her instead. When he told her he only wanted Lena, she hit him over the head with a lamp, killing him. Lena broke down in tears upon learning that Mike had cared for her after all and considered her family.
Kateryna was arrested, as were Boyka and Kiril, and Lena was finally freed.