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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.
Kentucky: Kentucky man charged with human trafficking after allegedly forcing juvenile into sex – A 29-year-old man has been arrested for sexually assaulting a minor and then sex trafficking her to another man. He also demanded video of both abusive encounters.
Michigan: 4 suspects arrested in Delta Township following human trafficking investigation – Four men were arrested in a sex trafficking sting seeking offenders targeting underage victims.
Missouri: Number of jurors chosen in trial of woman charged with sex trafficking her daughter – Jurors have been selected for a trial where a Missouri mother is accused of sex trafficking her severely disabled teenage daughter. The mother’s boyfriend was arrested for also sex trafficking the victim and sexually assaulting her after a report that the victim was being left at the hotel with “strange men.”
New York: NYPD files kidnapping, sex-trafficking charges in connection with Staten Island emergency response – A 32-year-old man has been charged with sex trafficking and kidnapping after a minor called for help from a home in Staten Island.
Nevada: Las Vegas police say man accused of forcing minor to work as prostitute – A 34-year-old man has been charged with sex trafficking a child under 14. He faces charges including child abuse, 9 counts of sexual assault against a child under age 14, first-degree kidnapping, 9 counts of lewdness with a child under 14, and sex trafficking of a child under age 14. He required her to pay him $1,500 per night and told her she was not allowed to speak with Black men or commercial sex providers in case they tried to “recruit” her. He used violence and humiliation to control the victim and when he was arrested, accused the child of “harassing” him and his family.
Ohio: NEOCC correctional officer arrested on sex trafficking charges – A 31-year-old corrections officer at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center was arrested after an investigation by the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force into sexually explicit conversations he was having with a 15-year-old victim and her mother while at work. A 75-year-old man was also arrested for seeking sex with the same victim.
Ohio: Police searching for Ohio rapper facing human trafficking charges – Ohio police are searching for 42-year-old Dawud Sami, “who was born Thomas Bradford and is also known as “Officially GP” (“Officially Got Paper”)” for his role in a sex trafficking operation. Some victims were branded with “Red Karpet,” and their identities were used to buy luxury cars and homes.
Oklahoma: Man arrested in connection to girl who was sex trafficked in Oklahoma City, investigators say – A suspect has been arrested in connection to the kidnapping, rape and sex trafficking of a 15-year-old who disappeared from a Mavericks game in Dallas and was located in Oklahoma City Days later.
Nebraska: The federal government is investigating the possible human trafficking of children who cleaned slaughterhouses – DHA and DOL have uncovered that at least 50 minors were cleaning slaughterhouses, violating child labor and safety laws. The youngest victims were 13 and 14, and many had chemical burns from the cleaning. An investigation into potential labor trafficking is ongoing.
New Jersey: U.S. man gets 60 years for sex trafficking, extorting college students – A 63-year-old man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for sex trafficking and extorting multiple victims he met after he moved into his daughter’s Sarah Lawrence dormitory.
Wisconsin: Wisconsin man indicted in forced labor case involving woman held against her will for two years – A 29-year-old man was indicted on forced labor charges for labor trafficking a woman while holding her against her will for two years. He forced her to make sexually explicit videos while locked in his home. He has also been charged with sexually assaulting her and domestic violence.
Florida: – Prolific Human Trafficker, Whose Victims Included Children And Foreign Nationals, Sentenced To 35 Years In Federal Prison – A man who sex trafficked vulnerable women and children for decades has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison and ordered to register as a sex offender. He claimed he had been sex trafficking victims “since 1994” and had identified victims who were both minors and adults, US citizens and migrants. He “promised the victims he would provide everything they had been desiring – financial security, love and affection, and a family. “
Illinois: Davenport man sentenced to federal prison for sex trafficking minor across state lines – A 54-year-old man from Iowa has been sentenced to 19 1/2 years for sex trafficking a minor across state lines. He sex trafficked the girl in Chicago and had her sell drugs on his behalf.
Maine: Registered sex offender from New York gets 6 years for sex trafficking Maine girl – A registered sex offender who groomed a 16-year-old victim over Instagram and then sex trafficked her has received 6 years in prison and 5 years of supervised release.
Michigan: Detroit man gets life in prison for child pornography, sex trafficking – A 39-year-old man who sex-trafficked at least one adult woman and sexually abused a child has been sentenced to life in prison. Police began investigating him over possible identity theft. When they searched the home, they found a sex trafficking victim who was chained to a pole after trying to resist and digital evidence of sexual abuse of prepubescent children on the man’s phone.
Maryland: Cecil County man gets 12 1/2 years for sex trafficking at Elkton hotel – A 44-year-old man has pled guilty to sex trafficking charges stemming from a decade of trafficking victims out of a hotel and multiple self-run websites. He was sentenced to 12 1/2 years, 25 years of supervised release, to pay $15,600 to a minor victim, and to register as a sex offender.
Montana: Proposed legislation aims to crack down on human trafficking– New legislation has been proposed to strengthen laws against human trafficking in Montana.
Nebraska: Omaha man who sexually assaulted a minor to ‘break her in’ for sex trafficking found guilty after four-day trial – A 25-year-old man was found guilty of sex trafficking a vulnerable teen in the foster care system. He also sexually assaulted one victim. He faces up to life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 10 years.
Nebraska: Third man sentenced in connection to sex trafficking of Lincoln teen – A 40-year-old man has been sentenced for sex trafficking a 15-year-old victim. He received 16 to 20 years in prison.
New York: Bronx man sentenced to 50 years in prison for sex-trafficking teens: DA – A 31-year-old man was sentenced to 50 years in prison for sex trafficking a child, rape, and a range of other charges. They used social media to recruit victims, then violence and coercion to control them, including choking and raping a minor victim in a stairwell for resisting and separating an 18-year-old victim from her infant until she could meet her quota. He threatened to shoot the 18-year-old and her family when she attempted to leave.
New York: Brooklyn man sentenced to 1-to-3 years in prison for trafficking teenage girls to NYC to sell for sex – A 62-year-old man who pled guilty to sex trafficking at least 10 adult women and 2 minors from 5 states has been sentenced to 1-3 years in prison. He often starved and threatened his victims. He must register as a sex offender.
Texas: Dallas man sentenced to 25 years for running ‘brutal’ sex trafficking organization – A 45-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for violently sex trafficking multiple victims.Virginia: Virginia Beach Man Convicted of Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Minor – A 38-year-old man has been convicted for attempted sex trafficking of a minor after he tried to purchase sex from a 13-year-old girl while talking with an undercover officer he believed was her mother. He deleted the messaging application he had used to discuss the transaction, only to have the data recovered. He was also convicted of obstruction of justice and making a false statement to a law enforcement officer. He faces 15 years to life in prison at sentencing.
California: California pastor gets jail time for using homeless in benefits fraud scheme: ‘Appalling abuse of power’ – A pastor and his wife have pled guilty to labor trafficking homeless victims they promised to care for.
New York: Yorktown Spa Shut Down by YPD– A Yorktown massage parlor has been shut down, they were clear they were investigating the case as a possible human trafficking operation and have referred the employees as potential victims to a local services provider.
Virginia: Virginia Family Sentenced for Conspiracy for Years-Long Forced Labor of Pakistani Woman – Three defendants were convicted of labor trafficking a Pakistani woman, forcing her to work as a domestic servant every day and preventing her from speaking to anyone outside of the family. The also eventually forced her to marry one of the labor trafficker’s sons. She was coerced to work using physical and verbal abuse, taking her documents and threatening to separate her from her children and have her deported to Pakistan. She was regularly abused in front of her children. An 80 year-old-woman was sentenced to twelve-years in prison, one man was sentenced to 10 years, and one was sentenced to 5. They are required to pay her $250,0000 in restitution.
Arkansas: Fayetteville prostitution sting results in nine arrests– Nine men were arrested for attempting to buy commercial sex.
New York: First guilty pleas and sentences reached in Rochester prostitution sting – Commercial sex buyers in Rochester have pled guilty to attempting to buy sex.
Oklahoma: Vice squad busts former mayor, who then resigns from Board of Education – A prominent community leader was arrested in a commercial sex sting, he has resigned from his position.
Texas: Dallas police make 23 arrests in prostitution sting at short-term rental – Dallas police arrested 23 buyers in connection to a possible sex trafficking situation run out of short-term rental properties in the area.Texas: DPS arrests eight in joint human trafficking operation – The Texas Department of Public Safety performed a commercial sex sting, leading to the arrest of 8 men who attempted to buy commerical sex.
Texas: Football coach, hospital official named in arrests of 46 men in North Texas sex trafficking – A North Texas buyer sting operation led to the arrest of 46 men, including some working in educational, medical, and religious organizations.
USA: Sold an American Dream, these workers from India wound up living a nightmare – Chronicles the story of 500 Indian men who were convinced to pay $20,000 to come for green cards, only to be labor trafficked in inhumane conditions rebuilding New Orleans and Mississippi after hurricane Katrina.
California: Lawmakers want investigation, hearings into ‘Wild West’ of California cannabis and farm work – California state lawmakers are requesting an investigation into human trafficking and corruption in the cannabis industry, including the deaths of 32 farmworkers and widespread exploitation.
Illinois: Feds: Joliet restaurant, catering company violated child labor laws – An Illinois restaurant and catering company has been ordered to pay $18,5350 fined and $2,671 in back wages after being found in violation of child labor laws. They were illegally employing 25 minors during prohibited hours who were as young as 14.
Maine: Hallowell restaurant cited for 691 child labor law violations, fined $17,275 – A Maine restaurant has been cited for 691 child labor law violations, receiving a penalty of $172,750 and is the largest wage penalty issued by the state of Maine in at least two years, 520 of those violations regarded employing minors younger than 16.
North Carolina: North Carolina Chick-fil-A owner fined for violating child labor laws, paying workers in food – Good Name 22:1 LLC, a franchisee of Chick-fil-A, has been fined for violating child labor laws and wage theft.
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Alabama: 2 charged with human trafficking after traffic stop in Baldwin County – Alabama police arrested a man and a woman after a traffic stop where they identified an injured 18-year-old girl in the car who had been beaten. It is unclear if they have considered at least one other passenger as a potential victim.
Florida: 4 women busted for prostitution at Charlotte County massage parlors – A Florida department raided four IMBs, arresting four women on prostitution charges, sharing their photos and names. They claim there is no evidence of potential human trafficking when asked by journalists but did not discuss service providers or other indicators of a more thorough investigation.
New York: Queens Woman Arrested In Mount Sinai Massage Parlor Raid: Cops – A woman has been charged with a felony for practicing massage without a license; she is “from Flushing.” There is no indication she was treated as a potential victim or that the business was investigated as a possible human trafficking operation.
Texas: Police: 30 arrested in Lubbock in human trafficking crackdown – Police arrested 25 commercial sex buyers but also arrested, charged, named, and shared the photos of 5 potential victims. There is no indication that they were treated as potential victims or provided services.
Global: Human trafficking victims forced to sell their organs share harrowing stories – A news story interviewing international victims of organ trafficking.
Connecticut: CT launches task force to prevent human trafficking in Hartford area – Connecticut is forming the “Regionalized Human Trafficking Recovery Task Force” to address human trafficking across the state.
Massachusetts: ‘Working like a slave’: Why human trafficking in restaurants is underreported – A story exploring the dynamics of wage theft and why labor trafficking in restaurants is so underreported.
Wisconsin: ‘Sara’s Law’: Sex trafficking survivor pushes to change justice system’s treatment of child victims – A survivor of child sex trafficking who was convicted for killing her sex trafficker at age 17 and sentenced to life. After 20 years in prison, her sentence was commuted, and she was eventually pardoned. She is promoting a law that gives judges discretion on sentencing child victims of sex trafficking.
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