We monitor and fact-check media coverage of human trafficking and share the top cases with you from each week. A broad view of what is happening across the country can be translated into action, allowing us to collectively change the system and the public narrative.
MichiganJudge rules there is enough evidence for a woman to stand trial for helping to run a sex trafficking ring out of Wayland Vanessa Phillips is charged with sex trafficking, accepting earnings from prostitution, and conspiracy to conduct a criminal enterprise. At least one woman claimed Phillips was the ringleader, while others felt Phillips was a trafficking victim herself. Women can be traffickers, but very often we also see cases where a woman is a bottom girl and a potential victim.A bottom is a female appointed by the trafficker/pimp to supervise the others and report rule violations. Operating as his “right hand,” the bottom may help instruct victims, collect money, book hotel rooms, post ads, or inflict punishments on other girls. Every human trafficking network has a bottom, and every time she falsely believes her trafficker has her back, that they are in a relationship, and are mutually loyal to one another. Very often the bottom is the most vulnerable, abused, and manipulated victim.Florida Pastor, girls high school basketball coach among 79 arrested in Hillsborough County human trafficking operation As always, we are honored to be asked to support our federal partners in Tampa in support of their human trafficking operations. The great work of these men and women is leading the charge in the Middle District of Florida. Media typically portrays child sex trafficking as commercial sex but the reality is far more vast. Sex trafficking of children can include pedophilia, sex with a minor, or child pornography – particularly devastating as the internet gives these traffickers an accessible avenue for their crimes. Texas 57-year-old man arrested for prostitution of minor, distribution of child pornography An investigation revealed that 57-year-old Jose Guerrero had contacted someone and offered to pay money in exchange for having sexual relations with a child. During communication with that person, Guerrero sent child pornography.PhiladelphiaFour Philadelphians charged with sex trafficking of minors The men are accused of trafficking two minors during approximately three weeks from multiple locations in Philadelphia. Authorities say the potential traffickers allegedly used their cell phones to post advertisements of the victims on a website that is known to be used for advertising sexual services for a fee. NebraskaLincoln man accused of sex trafficking a minor Police talked to a 14-year-old runaway who told them she had been trafficked by a 39-year-old Lincoln man. Two other men were arrested in December on similar allegations involving the same victim.ColoradoAurora police arrest 10 as part of 2-day child prostitution sting The suspects, who range in age from 23 to 59 will each be charged with at least one felony count of patronizing a prostituted child, soliciting for child prostitution or criminal attempt. California57 Arrested and 37 Cited In San Joaquin County Child Sex Predator Operation Over 100 total officials from all assisting organizations were stationed throughout the county and made contact with would-be predators who thought they were talking with minors over the course of this 5-day operation.CaliforniaStockton Man Gets 17-Year Prison Sentence For Child Sex Trafficking According to court documents, between September 2018 and November 2018, Roy recruited a 17-year-old victim outside of a high school and used social media to recruit an additional 16-year-old victim, then groomed them to perform sex acts in exchange for money that he kept, using threats of violence to control them.We cannot arrest potential victims and then expect their cooperation in criminal cases. These arrests also limit survivors’ options; these victims often cannot obtain housing, livable wages, and other basic needs with arrests and convictions on their records.California11 Arrested In Palm Desert Prostitution Sting “When the women arrived, they were arrested unless it was determined they were victims of sex trafficking, according to the sheriff’s department”. When indicators of trafficking are present, potential victims must be connected to social services and support, and the media must report on red flags and indicators that are present. When a case involves potential trafficking, it cannot be accurately labeled as “prostitution”, regardless of the victim’s level of cooperation.We are excited to present our Impact report 2020.Despite a year filled with uncertainty and turbulence, we’ve remained laser-focused on our commitment to those who have become even more vulnerable during this pandemic year. From training anti-trafficking professionals to changing systems with policymakers to collaborating with service providers, elevating survivors, and supporting victims, we’ve continued to make an impact in a big way in the anti-trafficking space. We partner with survivor leaders to eradicate human trafficking in the United States and train others to do the same in the most victim-centered, intelligence-driven manner possible. Go to our website to know more about our survivor partners.JOIN US >>