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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.
California Massage Parlor Trafficking Network operatives sentenced to 10 Years, 8 months “Plain and simple: Trafficking young Asian women for sex is criminal,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “It’s also part of a long history of objectification in this country that has been part and parcel of the anti-Asian violence we’ve seen across the United States. That’s why I’m grateful to our partners in law enforcement across California whose investigative efforts helped make this case happen.”In the over 1,000 cases we have supported across the nation, including this one, trafficking networks are often identified first through their illicit financing, government document fraud, and tax evasion. It is easy for investigators and prosecutors to stop there and only prosecute those felonies — and we applaud the California AG and all of our CA partners for continuing their investigations to also include the crimes against persons, identifying and supporting marginalized communities being trafficked and exploited in trafficking networks across the state.
Mississippi 20 human trafficking victims rescued in Mississippi The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office has successfully executed three undercover human trafficking operations over the last two weeks. Twenty human trafficking victims were rescued, and at least six exploiters were arrested. The investigation is still ongoing and may result in additional arrests. We had the honor of working with members of this task force as they attended a training we provided at Texas DPS Headquarters in Austin, TX. It is no surprise the Mississippi AG’s office is leading the way in fighting human trafficking in Mississippi.
Pennsylvania Man arrested for human trafficking after prostitution tip led detectives to Hampton Inn One of the women gave a statement to detectives detailing being held captive in the hotel room, given drugs, and being forced to have sex for money with unknown men, but she did not keep any of the money, which went to the defendant. Hotel and hospitality industry workers need to be trained on how to spot and respond to potential signs of trafficking. 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 crime.
Michigan Detroit man arrested, charged with sex trafficking two minors. The FBI was notified about a 17-year-old runaway living in the home of 55-year-old Kevin Giles. The information also indicated that a 16-year-old girl was also living at home. The criminal complaint alleged that Giles placed commercial sex advertisements for both girls on a website, including photographs and videos of them.
Texas Houston gang member charged for trafficking young teen for sex Porter Bush, 44, Houston, was arrested for trafficking a 14-year-old girl from February to June 2018. On June 25, 2018, authorities found and recovered the young girl near the Bissonnet Track after getting into a car with a potential client. A track is a known area where traffickers place minor and adult victims for commercial sex.
Maryland Beltsville Pimp Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison for Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking The man used Internet websites to post commercial sex advertisements and recruit vulnerable people in the sex trade for his trafficking business. He admitted that he met a 17-year-old minor at a strip club in July of 2017 and recruited the minor victim. The minor victim told the man her actual age before she was trafficked.
Washington Pimp convicted in Everett sex trafficking case The man trafficked three girls, forcing them into prostitution then confiscating the money. He kept the girl’s personal property and moved from city to city, evading detection.
Hawaii. Hawaii stops prosecuting massage parlor workers We applaud Honolulu prosecutors who have officially stopped pursuing charges against workers in massage parlors. We cannot arrest potential victims and then expect their cooperation in criminal cases. These arrests also create an environment in which victims’ options are limited, often leaving them stuck with their traffickers; these victims often cannot obtain housing, livable wages, and other basic needs with arrests and convictions on their records.
*Honolulu joins Harris County (Houston), TX, and Kings County (Brooklyn), NY in this trauma-informed approach to human trafficking prosecution.
Arizona Phoenix Police arrest 47 buyers in undercover massage parlor sting Phoenix Police arrested 47 men for soliciting and brokering deals for sex acts after detectives set up a fake illicit massage storefront. Detectives placed advertisements on websites, apps, and other local media which are commonly sought out by suspects seeking illegal sex acts.
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