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: Missing Simi Valley girl found at home of human trafficking suspect in Compton – The defendant has been charged with human trafficking and sex trafficking of a minor.
Colorado: Colorado Springs Police: multiple people arrested, accused of sex trafficking 15-year-old girl – After a tip, police identified a fifteen-year-old victim and multiple sex traffickers who had been exploiting her.
Florida: Plea-or-set court hearing slated for human-trafficking case – A former teacher working with at-risk youth expelled from school may accept a plea deal after she commercially exploited at least one male student.
Hawaii: Prosecutors call ex-HPD officer indicted for child sex trafficking a ‘prolific sexual predator’– A former Honolulu officer, Mason Jordan, has been indicted on sex trafficking charges from 2016 to 2020 while he was an officer. He sexually exploited three minors and one adult, filming the encounters and extorted and cyberstalked victims. He used social media and his access to police records to recruit victims and cover up his crimes. He resigned in 2020 before he could be disciplined.
Illinois: Feds want nearly 34 years for producer who pleaded guilty to trafficking young Indian actresses in Chicago – A man and his wife who promised young Indian actresses opportunities in American movies then sex trafficked them in the Chicago region. They arrived on temporary visas and were kept in an apartment building. The victims stated he believed they would be too ashamed to come forward and tell their stories.
Kansas & Missouri: ‘Operation Blue Ghost’ saves four potential human trafficking victims – Three people were charged with human trafficking offenses, one was charged with promotion of prostitution, and thirteen were charged with attempting to buy sex. Four potential victims were connected to support services and were not charged after a commercial sex sting in Wichita.
Massachusetts: Human trafficking suspect arrested in an undercover operation in Revere – A man who claimed to be running commercial sex operations for two adult women was arrested. One victim was secured and escorted away from the arrestee during the operation. He was arrested and court-ordered to have no contact with either victim.
New Hampshire: Former basketball coach pleads not guilty to human trafficking, assault charges – A former basketball coach at a New Hampshire college has been charged with over 70 counts, including human trafficking, child sexual abuse, and manufacturing child sexual abuse images.Ohio: US Marshals arrest 3 in Columbus human trafficking investigation – The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force received multiple tips, leading to the arrest of three human traffickers who were controlling multiple minor victims.
Pennsylvania: Six people arrested in Cumberland County during human trafficking enforcement effort – Cumberland county performed “Operation Impact Demand”, arresting six men seeking commercial sex.
Tennessee: Memphis man charged with sex trafficking 17-year-old – A man in Memphis is accused of recruiting a minor and sex trafficking her across multiple states.
Tennessee: Undercover sex trafficking sting in Nashville lands a dozen men behind bars – A sex trafficking sting in Nashville led to the arrest of ten buyers and two potential traffickers. Five potential victims were referred to services and released without charges.Texas: Houston man charged with sex trafficking, coercion of 4 women, some on Bissonnet Track – The defendant, who went by “Lavish,” is accused of sex trafficking women across multiple states and has been involved in sex trafficking since at least 2014.
Texas: East Texans arrested in solicitation of prostitution operation – Seven men were arrested for solicitation of prostitution during the sting.
Texas: Henderson County grand jury indicts man accused of trafficking children – A Texas man has been successfully indicted after being accused of sex trafficking two minors.
California: Attorney General Bonta Secures Guilty Verdict Against Members of the Gamos Family for Human Trafficking and Labor Scheme – Four family members were found guilty of human trafficking after labor trafficking vulnerable Filipino immigrants in a daycare/senior care center. They demanded unreasonable hours, forced victims to sleep at the facilities, and threatened them with deportation, stealing over $500,000 from 2008 to 2018.
California: Oakland man gets 16 years in prison for sex trafficking 3 underage girls in Santa Ana – A sex trafficker pled guilty and was sentenced to 16 years for sex trafficking a sixteen-year-old, fifteen-year-old, and thirteen-year-old.
DC: South Carolina man gets 15 years for sex trafficking 17-year-old pregnant girl in DC – A registered sex offender from South Carolina sex trafficked a pregnant, 17-year-old victim in DC. He was sentenced to 15 years and a lifetime supervised release.
Delaware: Delaware man sentenced after sex trafficking minors and young adults in PA – A sex trafficking operation was discovered when minors were identified as being sold on Backpage.com. Adult and minor victims were identified during the investigation, and their descriptions of being victimized across multiple states helped lead to the two traffickers’ sentence of 21 and 20 years.Florida: St. Petersburg Child Sex Trafficker Sentenced To 40 Years In Federal Prison – A sex trafficker in Florida was sentenced to 40 years in prison for recruiting and then sex trafficking a fourteen and fifteen-year-old victim for eight days in a hotel room.
New York: Bronx Man Charged with Sex Trafficking, Rape & Attempted Strangulation Released on Bail – A man who sex trafficked a 15-year-old girl and a 28-year-old woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He promised the woman and her two children a better life, then sex trafficked her to 10-15 buyers per day, using threats, violence, and drugs to control her. The trafficker was released on bail while awaiting trial and attempted to re-traffick one of the victims within one month.
New York – Niskayuna business owner sentenced for labor trafficking – The business owner trafficked a woman, initially promising to sponsor her visa if she promised to work for her for two years. The owner stopped paying her, forcing her to live off tips and adding a $10k “fee.” She also failed to report the victim as an employee or pay appropriate taxes. She pled guilty to avoid jail time, receiving 5 years on probation.
Oregon: Man in international sex trafficking ring gets prison for brothels in three countries – A Toronto man who led a sex trafficking ring with mostly Chinese victims being trafficked in apartment buildings and hotels has pled guilty. He and three other co-conspirators were charged with racketeering.
Pennsylvania: Four Members and Associates of Reading Boarding House Sex Trafficking Gang “The Sevens” Convicted After Six-Week Trial in Allentown – A violent gang called “The Sevens” sex trafficked multiple women and girls using extreme violence in Allentown, Pennsylvania from 2017-2019. As a result of a multi-year investigation, fourteen defendants were indicted, and all fourteen have now been successfully convicted for their roles.
Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh man sentenced to 15 years for sex trafficking woman – A man groomed and recruited a victim in Alabama, sex trafficking her there and then moved to Pennsylvania to make more money. He bragged about earning over $10k per month and controlled the victim from jail. He received a 15-year sentence.
Texas: Man who beat up North Texas teen he was trafficking for sex gets 59 years in prison – A man assaulted a seventeen-year-old after taking her to a nail salon, leading to an investigation that identified her as a victim of sex trafficking along with two other adult victims. He also had used social media to claim he was a “pimp” and brag about trafficking the women.
Dominican Republic: U.S., Dominican Republic to work on better labor law enforcement in Dominican sugar sector – The Dominican Republic, which splits a Caribbean island with Haiti, has agreed to work with the U.S. Department of State to address “slave-like conditions” in sugar production industries there. Reports of child labor, forced labor and “appalling” conditions sparked the effort.
Kentucky: Cherry Blossom Massage in Bismarck shut down on accusations of prostitution – A North Dakota IMB was shut down, and a married couple who owned the business were arrested and charged with facilitating prostitution. Two potential victims were referred to services.
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Florida:Human trafficking sting operation leads to arrests at Osceola massage parlors – After identifying sexual references being made online about local massage parlors, police raided multiple IMBs. They arrested over 75 people, but according to the story, “many of their suspects were found working in massage parlors.” While he acknowledges many of them are potential victims from China trafficked through New York and will have access to services, it’s especially problematic for potential victims to be arrested when a case is framed as a “trafficking investigation.”
New York: Woman Faces Charges After Raid At Illegal Smithtown Massage Parlor – A 61-year-old worker at a massage parlor in Queens was charged with two counts of third-degree sex abuse and two counts of practicing massage without a license. There are no indicators that this was an investigation as a potential human trafficking case.
Global: The Mental Health Effects of Human Trafficking
Hawaii: Despite saving hundreds of sex trafficking victims yearly, Hawaii has few prosecutions – Hundreds of sex trafficking victims receive services, but rare arrests and prosecutions in Hawaii are cited as a result of lacking 100% cooperation from victims.
Nigeria: Human Trafficking: NAPTIP secures 516 convictions in 18 years
North Carolina: Holly Springs police say sex trafficking social media post is ‘scare-lore’
Trinidad: Police bust human trafficking and child prostitution ring – A sex trafficking ring bust led to the arrest of a police officer, two gang leaders, and three foreign nationals. Multiple adult and minor victims were also removed from their trafficking situation; all were Venezuelan.
Ukraine: Ukraine crisis creates new trafficking, exploitation risks for women and children
Virginia: Gov. Youngkin announces members in new human trafficking prevention commission, survivor support
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