A Senate bill aimed at cracking down on prostitution and human trafficking in Florida cleared its final committee Tuesday afternoon, sending it to the House floor. The bill bans hourly rates at hotels, motels and vacation rentals and raises the first-time penalty for those paying for sex from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.
Indianapolis – August 15, 2021 – Ahead of the 2021 NFL season, five nonprofit organizations have convened an alliance to combat the sexual abuse and exploitation of children – a global crisis widely believed to worsen leading up to and during major sporting and entertainment events. The alliance aims to educate the public on the perennial nature and warning signs of human trafficking, empower them to report suspicious activity, and provide resources to victims and those most vulnerable to exploitation.
The success of the TFZ program led elected leaders in Alabama to enact public policies during the recently concluded state legislative session that will positively impact the lives of survivors of sex trafficking, crackdown on sex buyers and better identify victims of trafficking.
Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) Board of Trustees has formally proclaimed the college a Trafficking Free Zone. The board officially approved a resolution at its May meeting, in support of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) Trafficking Free Zones program.
EICC asks the citizens of its Clinton, Jackson, Muscatine, Scott, Cedar, Dubuque, Johnson and Louisa County service area to join in learning more about human trafficking and eliminating it in all its forms.
Fifty-seven people were arrested after being accused of operating a sex trafficking operation, according to San Joaquin County Sheriff’s officials.
Sheriff’s officials said 17 law enforcement agencies, which was spearheaded by Lathrop Police Services, worked on the sting operation from April 12 to 16. They say they arrested would-be predators who thought they were meeting up with a 13-year-old child. Among those who were arrested in the alleged trafficking operation, charges include being child sex predators, being out-of-compliance sex offenders, human trafficking, pimping or pandering, prostitution, solicitation, possession of a firearm, and traffic citations. Law enforcement also cited 37 people.
A woman has been charged with trafficking multiple victims for sex through Crystal’s Day Spa in Revere, an alleged front for human trafficking, the attorney general said.
Geralda De Matos Garland, 57, of Revere, was arrested on Friday and charged with trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, deriving support from prostitution, money laundering and conspiracy, the Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday.
Chris Bates was 16 years old when he started selling nude photos of himself on the internet to adult men who pressured him for more and more images.
The demands snowballed into riskier requests, and within months the gay Connecticut teen was trading sex for dinners out, designer sneakers and other luxuries.
Bates says he was lured by the attention and what appeared to be easy money. He secretly hoped his financially struggling single mother, or anybody, would notice what was happening and protect him.
No one did — and within two years, the tall, lanky youth was living alone in a dilapidated apartment, prostituting himself to get by. His home — and an array of hotel rooms in Connecticut and Massachusetts — became a “revolving door” of sex buyers.
“I really thought I was the bad person selling myself,’’ said Bates, now 26 and living in Worcester. “I didn’t realize that I was a victim.”
In February 2020, Vestavia Hills police were able to rescue four children from trafficking and arrest the man suspected of trafficking them.
Capt. Johnny Evans with the Vestavia Hills Police Department said without the training they received as part of being named a “Human TraffickingFree Zone” in November 2019, they might not have been able to spot what was happening.
As the city continues to train its employees on how to spot and prevent human trafficking, the Police Department is seeing success in cracking down on these cases.
“Our officers now, when they’re dealing with people, know to look for certain things,” Evans said. “We’ve really been able to notice more of the signs.”
Becoming a “Human TraffickingFree Zone” is part of the Child Trafficking Solutions Project, formed in response to the passage of the state’s Safe Harbor Act, created by former state Rep. Jack Williams from Vestavia Hills.
A federal grand jury has indicted a Hollywood man and a Miami Gardens woman for the alleged sex trafficking of a 16-year-old girl.
Frantz Mersier, 30, and Paula Barboza, 25, are accused of offering a place to stay to the teenager who was a runaway from a group home, prosecutors said. According to court documents, Mersier took in the girl Dec. 6 and said she could sleep on the couch. He eventually had sex with the teen and set her up for prostitution in the three days that followed.
Barboza took naked photographs of the girl and posted them on websites known to advertise for prostitution. Then, Mersier and Barboza sold the teen for sex to four different men in Broward for $100 each. On Dec. 9, the girl called a relative and law enforcement came to get her later that day.
Sixteen missing children have been rescued after a month long operation by the US Marshals Service.
At least four of the recovered youngsters were connected to child sex trafficking in the Philadelphia area, officials say.
Authorities began Operation Safeguard on 5 February when a marshals task force took over 26 missing children cases at the request of law enforcement agencies. The marshals said that the children were considered some of the most at risk cases in the Philadelphia area, based on sex trafficking, exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse and medical or mental health conditions.