WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) today announced support for the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act (Act) to end the use of “warrant-proof” encrypted technology utilized by sex traffickers and buyers to conceal their criminal activities.
Fremont, California — A Bay Area man is in federal custody and awaiting extradition to Texas, where he is set to face federal charges that allege he set up sex trafficking websites on an international scale, raking in $21 million in proceeds within a two-year span.
Colorado Springs, Colorado– A man was arrested and is being charged with attempted human trafficking of a minor in Colorado Springs. In 2019, the National Human Trafficking Hotline reported 176 cases of trafficking the state of Colorado.
“We are especially excited that our friend Heather Fischer has been appointed Special Advisor for Human Trafficking”, said CEO Kevin Malone. “I have worked alongside Heather on many efforts to stop human trafficking in the United States and abroad. She is one of the most passionate and capable champions in this fight and will be an invaluable ally for those of us on the front lines fighting this scourge.”
Washington, D.C. — The number of people seeking emergency shelter to escape human trafficking surged in the month following U.S. lockdown orders implemented to slow the spread of coronavirus, a leading anti-trafficking group said on Monday.
Auburn, Alabama– Multiple agencies in Lee County have gotten together this year to discuss the growing problem of sex and human trafficking. “[There are] kids [who] don’t really have a way to make money, a lot of times they have to do things that they don’t like to do in order to get food, to get shelter,” Teresa Collier, an intelligence analyst, said. “So a lot of times what we see are those runaway kids, they’re engaging in survival sex.”
Beloit, Wisconsin — Employees from jobs spanning multiple industries have received training in spotting the signs of human trafficking in a bid to alert authorities sooner of possible dangerous situations.
Sacramento, California — With signers from 192 countries, anti-trafficking expert Laila Mickelwait’s “Traffickinghub” petition to shut down Pornhub for allegedly enabling and profiting from the sex trafficking and rape of women and children on the site has surpassed one million signatures.
Beaumont, Texas — A Groves woman and a Beaumont man are facing charges of human trafficking after police located a missing juvenile in a hotel room last week. Police in Beaumont responded to the Petro Truck Stop at Walden Road and I-10 in reference to the missing juvenile. The information they received sent them to several hotels in the area in an attempt to locate the victim before they were told she was last seen at the Executive Inn, according to a press release from BPD Officer Haley Morrow.
Beloit, Wisconsin — With Beloit positioned as a transportation hub near Milwaukee and Chicago, the Beloit Police Department says it is taking steps to combat human trafficking and raise awareness in the community about the problem. “We tell our officers that when they come across someone—especially a young woman or man—who has been battered and is reluctant to talk to police, that is the person they need to spend extra time with,” Police Department Inspector Stigler said. “They need to talk about their background, where they grew up, where they have been and who have they been associated with and who they get money from.”
Tucson, Arizona — The Tucson Police Department is raising awareness about the global crisis of human and sex trafficking with the help of Faith, a young woman who was trafficking for 7 years by the MS-13 gang. “I never learned to read, or write, and now I am going to classes to get my GED,” Faith said. “I want to become a social worker so I can help other victims.”
Dayton, Ohio– Sex trafficking has increased because of job loss, a lack of housing security and reduced social and public services according to Abolition Ohio, an anti trafficking coalition organized by the University of Dayton. The public is invited to attend on Zoom The Abolition Ohio Monthly Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition Meetings to learn about resources available to students, educators, and community members in order to keep kids safe from trafficking and exploitation.
Hillsborough County, Florida — As the state reopens following the coronvirus pandemic, Hillsborough County is ramping up plans for Super Bowl LV. As part of the preparations, County Commissioner Kimberly Overman led the effort to form the Commission on Human Trafficking.
WASHINGTON, DC- A former colleague of Attorney General William Barr is backing a letter from three Catholic bishops asking Barr to aggressively pursue anti-obscenity prosecutions in the wake of increased traffic to online pornography sites with the onset of COVID-19. The bishops’ letter followed a March 9 request by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska for a federal investigation into Pornhub, one of the largest online porn sites. “Pornhub’s incredible reach has a much darker side than the image of harmless fun that it tries to project,” Sasse wrote. He cited a case from last October in Florida in which the abductor of a 15-year-old girl was charged with uploading more than 60 videos of her exploitation to the site.
As COVID-19 has evolved into a global health crisis, it has plunged much of the world, and financial sector, into an economic downturn, as well as created new opportunities for criminals to infiltrate institutions and exploit those who have suffered from this pandemic.
In tandem, with individuals and families losing jobs, losing income and potentially even losing their homes or apartments, you can even argue that COVID-19 has created certain problems specific to human trafficking – opening the door for criminals to create a new class of victims because all some people have left to generate value is their corporeal forms.
These disruptions have affected human trafficking, human slavery and prostitution across the spectrum of such crimes and even potentially put young people at risk of being taken advantage of by online predators because schooling across the country and at nearly all grade levels has gone digital.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) needs to act now, according to the bishops, because first “there are direct victims: the persons used in the productions. Many have their consent (even if technically legal) compromised by desperate circumstances while, for others, consent is completely absent.”
“The department rightly pursues human traffickers; however, virtually unchecked proliferation of pornography fuels the demand that frequently results in commercial sexual exploitation,” said the bishops. Unprecedented, unlimited, and anonymous access to pornography via modern technology has led users to seek more and more extreme videos.”
The Truckers Against Trafficking Champion Award is given to recognize and honor the creative, innovative, generous and dedicated efforts of specific TAT partners whose actions have significantly furthered TAT’s work in engaging more members of the industries TAT works with, as well as the efforts of more agencies and organizations within the state and nation, in the fight to end human trafficking and recover more survivors and prosecute more perpetrators.
“MTA member companies have trained almost 10,000 trucking industry employees in conjunction with TAT. These trained employees are acting as a watchdog on the American highways to combat this horrific crime,” said MTA President Hal Miller.
According to Kahler, who serves as the chairman of ATCC, intelligence firms and cryptocurrency organizations are partnering to raise awareness around red flags related to human trafficking. This includes sex trafficking and child abuse, both of which Kahler believes there isn’t enough focus on when it comes to gathering useful data to combat these tragic events.
TOPEKA – Five grant programs, serving victims of crime across Kansas are open for application, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Friday.
More than $2.5 million in grant funds were awarded last year from five different state programs through the office of the attorney general. Funds are used to assist local and state crime victim assistance organizations across Kansas in providing direct services to crime victims, as well as in developing prevention programs to address violence.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Human traffickers aren’t stopping despite the health threats from COVID-19—and neither will we cease our efforts to stop them. It is abhorrent that unscrupulous individuals would take advantage of the pandemic and try to lure people through the use of force, fraud or coercion for nefarious purposes when so many find themselves on hard times. We need to continue to be vigilant in our fight to combat human trafficking. Know the signs of human trafficking, and if you see something, say something
“I want to thank all of our transportation partners at the state and local level for their leadership in supporting this important initiative to help put the brakes on human trafficking,” Federal Highway Administrator Nicole Nason said. “Collaboration across the entire transportation industry is vital to our success in raising awareness and combating this modern-day slavery.”
“With closed businesses and empty streets, exploiters have become more violent and expanded their territory,” explains Amba Johnson, executive director of Dreamcatchers. “The ones coming to buy children are oddly indifferent to COVID, asking their victims if they have hand sanitizer and masks. The problem is Johns don’t care if they are children.”
Those that have signed on to the effort “are joining the Department to ensure that America’s transportation systems are not hijacked to facilitate human trafficking,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao on May 7. “These companies are on the frontlines of helping to ensure the safety of our traveling public.” A goal of the effort is to get one million employees trained to help fight the crime, according to DOT.
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that his office, leading the Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council, released Phase I of a five-year strategic plan to halt and prevent human trafficking in Texas. The Coordinating Council is the first single entity in the state to focus solely on coordinating efforts to combat human trafficking, and the strategic plan uses a multi-phased, integrative approach to eradicating and preventing this heinous crime.
The FBI child exploitation and human trafficking task force in New York is currently working on a number of cases in which victims trafficked for sex were advertised as being virus-free or willing to wear a mask and gloves.
“They’re trying to work in safety measures to ensure that customers would feel at ease to meet up with people in the ads,” FBI special agent Brian Gander told ABC News.
Co-founder of the organization says the sex trafficking numbers are up during the pandemic and the virus is making it harder to get to the women.
“The opportunities for them to get to safety is actually lower and it has created a challenge in our response. Also being able to find placement for them because just like many other medical facilities and shelters, they are overrun right now and not accepting new individuals for their own safety,” says Sarah Mckinnis, Co-Founder of Willowbend Farms
“Traffickers notoriously prey upon the vulnerability of other people. So if you have a group of people who are now even more vulnerable and are looking to make income, secure their future, and are looking to find some type of normalization; they might be more susceptible to offers or lies or tactics traffickers use to gain that person’s trust only to exploit it later for a profit,” explained Danielle Borrelli, Operations Coordinator for the California Cybersecurity Institute.
“As an organization, we know how critically important it is to still fund human trafficking prevention, especially right now,” Stevenson said. “I think that we need to find a balance between making sure people’s immediate needs are met…because something like not having food or shelter, those are vulnerabilities that can lead to trafficking.”
“As we move forward to take our next steps to better identify and support youth who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation, I hope agencies across the country can apply the lessons learned by L.A. County and apply them during this COVID-19 era and provide victims the services and ongoing support that they need,” said Michelle Guymon, who founded and leads the CTU.
After large scale investigation of human trafficking in Sutton, Nebraska a man has been arrested. A 58-year-old man was arrested in Clay County on charges of sex trafficking of a minor, child abuse, three counts of pandering, and two counts of solicitation. Cloet was lodged in Clay County Jail.
A man from Mooresville, North Carolina has been arrested of sending explicit photos and arranging to pay for sex acts with an undercover officer he believed was a 15-year-old girl. His bond has been set for $50,000. He has been charged with charged with solicitation of a child by computer, solicitation of a minor for prostitution, dissemination obscene material and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a federal judge is allowing a sex trafficking plaintiff to continue with claims against the hotel franchise Marriott. The claim states that the three hotels in Philadelphia failed to stop activities. The federal judge denied the hotels efforts to dismiss the claim
A central Florida attorney is accused of operating a human trafficking ring out of his Melbourne home. He trafficked young girls as young as 15. He said they needed to pay off legal fees and rent for staying at his home. He was recently arrested when he was going to pay a 16 year old girl to have sex with him, and try to recruit the girl to live with him at his home. He is facing charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and human trafficking of a minor.
A sex trafficker survivor from Ohio will be released from prison. “She will be sent to a group home and she will be under supervision for an extensive period of time. When the victim was 15 years-old she planned the murder of the trafficker. When she was 17, she received a sentence for 21 years. Ohio’s Supreme Court chief justice knew that he had forced her into sex trafficking but kept her sentence.
he mayor of Houston, Texas and the city council approved the Hotel ordinance to combat human trafficking. The ordinance requires hotels to train employees on human trafficking. Houston is the first major US city to have an ordinance. It requires them to train employees in human trafficking and in labor trafficking. The ordinance prohibits retaliation against employees that report tips.
Two residents in Reno, Nevada have pleaded guilty to one count of attempted sex trafficking. The man and woman that were charged orchestrated the sexual exploitation of a child last summer. The investigation was led by the FBI’s Northern Nevada Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. The hearing is set for June 3rd.
In Tampa, Florida experts believe sex trafficking is not slowing down even with the pandemic of COVID-19. In fact Connie Rose who is the executive director of Victims to Survivors thinks that it is actually growing from this virus. Since predators are able to spend more time online luring and grooming children especially those who are in poor living conditions with family instability
Austin, TX. Advocates say the pandemic has made it harder for victims of human trafficking and other types of abuse to leave dangerous situations. Korin Arkin who manages the National Human Trafficking Hotline’s call response says economic instability breeds the type of vulnerability that sex and labor traffickers prey on.
With Covid-19 going on, human trafficking isn’t stopping in Jacksonville, Florida. A news team in Jacksonville spoke with a woman who is currently living in a hotel and said she is working to keep food on the table and a roof over her head. The woman said she’s worried about running into serial killers and rapists. Advocates for sex-trafficking victims contend that there’s a growing demand for the sex trade despite the risks posed by coronavirus.
A new study in Milwaukee shows most of the city and identified hot spots where the crime occurred. From 2013 through 2016 the study examined 340 people ages 25 and younger were confirmed to have been victims of sex trafficking in Milwaukee. 88% of the victims were from the Milwaukee area and 3% were out of state. Although the research was from six years ago, experts believe the information still hold up to be true. Some of the areas are hot spots for other crimes as well.
In 2018, Polaris reported the highest number of sex trafficking survivors in the United States was 243, their ages ranged from 15-17 years of age. In 2018 the numbers reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline illustrated that 7,126 women were trafficked and 2,378 minors were trafficked.
Jasmine’s story is featured in this article. Jasmine Grace was 19 when she met an older man. After graduating from cosmetology school, the trafficker sold Jasmine to men around the East Coast for five years.
Three men are facing a series of human trafficking charges, rape charges in the state of New York. The three men lured a 12 year old to a motel for sex. Detectives say the men used social media to recruit the child. All three have been arrested and are being held without bail at the Onondaga County Justice Center. They found the child in the motel room alone.
In Salt Lake City Utah, two Utah men and a woman who was convicted of murder previously, now face charges forcing two teenage girls into human trafficking. The three traffickers face multiple felony counts for human trafficking of a child. One of the men also face a charge of unlawful sexual contact. One of the victims met the men after she walked away from juvenile services custody.
Brook Parker-Bello Ph.D, founder of More Too Life Foundation, recognizes that the country’s forgotten victims are at risk of being lost forever as the world fights to contain the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Lost In Crisis is the first program of its kind to introduce a comprehensive strategy using up-to-date analysis of the growing COVID-19 crisis, while offering a practical solution that could save hundreds and thousands of lives. Please contact Dr. Parker – Bello for a 60-day free access to our online human trafficking prevention program for victims and also basic cost for buyers course. In addition, to MoreTooLife’s digital online college student prevention course.
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As Tampa bay, Florida practices social distance due to the virus and staying home to do the orders local nonprofits are concerned about who they can help. Now they are moving things online to help the victims of human trafficking that they can no longer meet in person. With all the students being online now at least until May, training is being enforced for adults to look for red flags to look for in social media. 70% of sex trafficking in minors starts online.
In Portsmouth, Ohio a former city council member and defense attorney has been detained. He is rumored to be a key player in a sex trafficking ring. Police have been looking into him since 2018. The prosecution is now being held by the state attorneys office. ￼
In Anderson, California law enforcement officers have been in a year-long investigation into Northstate massage parlors. Two men have been arrested with 58 felony counts. Last year, a citizen of Anderson reported unusual behavior. The tip led to find a human trafficking ring across three Northstate counties. Anderson police said their goal was to target the traffickers and save and rescue the woman.
A las Vegas man was arrested on sex assault after police say he solicited a child for sex
on a dating app. The 44 year old man was charged with four felonies including soliciting child for prostitution, sex assault, first-degree kidnapping, and facilitating sex trafficking for a victim who is under the age of 18. The victims grandmother reported her missing and she found her iPad that showed she was talking to the 44 year old. The girl, who was described as under 14, told the man if he wanted to have sex it would cost $5 and gave him her address. The man said he was driving a silver Malibu.
Members of a family in New York have been convicted for a sex trafficking ring. Five members of the family were convicted of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking of minors, interstate prostitution, alien smuggling and money laundering conspiracy in federal court last Friday. For 11 years, transported women and girls, including minors, to the United States and coerced them to work in prostitution, according to the Eastern District of New York. The men promised them love and a better life. The defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison on the most serious charge.
In Northeast Tennessee, eight men were arrested in an undercover operation for child sex trafficking. The operation lasted two days TBI human trafficking unit and detectives with the Johnson City Police Department. Last week, authorities places ads on websites trying to identify people that were seeking commercial sex acts with minors. The operation also focused on identifying victims.
58-year-old Kenneth Wayne Hart has been convicted in a federal drug and sex trafficking case for prostituting women in the District and in Maryland and using the Internet to advertise, according to federal prosecutors.
He was also found guilty of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking along with sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. Hart ran a prostitution business that recruited women to engage in sex acts. supplied the women with heroin and crack cocaine and threatened to withhold drugs.
On Monday, March 9, special agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at a residence located in Goldsboro associated with an ongoing human trafficking investigation.
Karen Lynn Anderson, 47, was arrested on Monday, March 9, 2020, and charged with one count of human trafficking of an adult victim. William Henry Thornton, 76, charged with one count of attempted first-degree forcible rape. Jeffrey Leon Harding, 48, charged with one count of possession of firearm by felon, one count of possession of a stolen firearm.
A man in western Iowa will spend 12.5 months in prison after pleading guilty to distributing child pornography and transporting a person across state lines. He picked up an 18-year old woman and a 17-year-old girl from Omaha, Nebraska. He took them to his home and gave them drugs. He knew the girls ages. He is ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution.
Washington County, Oregon two men were arrested with a sex trafficking in the county. Detectives were investigating multiple victims, including a 17-year-old girl. Officials learned that a 21-year-old male met the victim online and knew she was underage. He coordinated the victim to meet with men who paid for sexual acts or explicit content. He was indicted by a grand jury on four counts of compelling position, three counts of promoting prostitution and first degree unlawful sexual penetration, first-degree sexual abuse, and two counts of second-degree sexual abuse.
Over the next few months and into next year, there are major sporting events heading to the Tampa Bay area in Florida. WrestleMania and the Super Bowl. The adult businesses in the area must 3make sure they are complying with a human trafficking ordinance. Teams in Hillsborough Counties are looking to check to see if they have signs that are the right size and show the correct information at strip clubs and massage parlors. These signs must be displayed in different languages as well. If business are not in compliance, they will get a notice that says they have 30 days to update or they could be cited.
TAMPA (WFLA) – 8 On Your Side’s “Storefronts for Sex” investigation triggered a crackdown on illicit health spas in Tampa. Compliance teams are doing a sweep of spas, parlors and adult businesses across Hillsborough County. They are checking the human trafficking signage at these establishments all week long.
The new red and white signs, which state the National Human Trafficking Resource Center phone number 1-888-373-7888, must be clearly visible to customers and workers. A business that fails to have the proper signs will face a $265 fine.
Atlanta, Georgia is in the top 14 of the U.S cities with the most sex trafficking activity. They want to combat it with House Bill 823. HB 823 would allow the Georgia Department of Driver Services to revoke a person’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) and impose a lifetime CDL ban in Georgia for those who are convicted and knowingly used a commercial vehicle to commit any type of human trafficking. They want this bill to pass before the legislative session ends. The crossover day deadline is approaching.
A 52-year-old man was arrested in Butler, Georgia on sex trafficking. It happened from 2018-2018 and involved a 14-year-old girl. The man is accused of sexually exploiting the teenager. The victim came forward after the man threated to post the pictures of her if she didn’t allow him to take more of her. He’s charged with, trafficking of a person for sexual servitude, sexual exploitation of a child, enticing a child for indecent purposes, rape and two counts of aggravated child molestation.
Tennessee has had 823 human trafficking cases reported since 2007. 93 cases last year. Chattanooga has a higher risk of human trafficking then most other cities in Tennessee. Chattanooga is close to Atlanta and has many busy highways like I-75 and I-24. Tennessee has community leaders and law enforcement officers that want to put a stop to human trafficking. Tennessee wants to provide support for the victims along with justice. They fully want traffickers to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
A Scores strip club in Florida employed a “severely” disabled 17-year-old sex trafficking victim with a fake ID and allowed her to be groped and molested by grownup males, a scathing lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges.
The woman, recognized in courtroom papers as Jane Doe, was developmentally 13 years outdated when her trafficker introduced her to the chain’s Tampa location. For the following three days, the minor was plied with Xanax and booze by the club and different dancers, supplied cocaine and was pressured to carry out “sexually express acts.”
At Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville, Alabama three airport employees and a Delta Airlines manager helped a 21-year-old girl from an attempted human trafficking incident. The mother of this woman was looking for her car in the parking garage after dropping her daughter off and the Airport Public Relations and Customer Service Manager approached her to help find it. A they were looking she found out that her daughter was going on the plane to meet people for a modeling job. The agent quickly knew that was suspicious, so she met the woman at the gate after her mother described her. The agent tried to get her not to get on the plane, but the 21-year-old is old enough make decisions for herself. A little after, the woman got off the plane saying the modeling agents canceled the flight.
A 30- year-old man from Decatur, Illinois has been indicted on child exploitation charges. The man is accused of enticement of a minor, attempted sexual exploitation of children and sex trafficking of children. He was attempting to traffic a child under the age of 14. He used the internet and a cellphone to entice the minor to engage in sexual activity. The authorities say he acted like he was a 17-year old male while he was in contact with the minor.
Four men have been arrested in St. Petersburg, Florida for a range of child sex crimes. These men were communicating online with who they thought were children however, they were undercover detectives. The four men range in ages from 27-54. All four of these men were released from jail after paying the bail.
A Houston, Texas former police officer has been charged with sexual assault of an underage woman last September. A sex trafficker put her in a hotel a couple of days before she met with the former police officer. The officer paid her $180 to have sex with her. When the 16-year-old met police in Las Vegas she told them about the police officer in Houston and they found evidence on her phone that supported what she was saying.
A man from Haiti, used two of his houses from Boston, Massachusetts for sex trafficking and has been sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison. This 51-year-old used social media to locate his four victims and he convinced them to live with him. All four of the victims were from Maine, and he picked them all up. He trafficked these women from 2012-2016. He was convicted of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. He was ordered to pay his victims $728,000 in restitution.
The coalition aims to raise awareness about human trafficking in the Berkeley community and invited T Ortiz, one of Time Magazine’s 2013 “30 Under 30” nominees, as a keynote speaker to discuss the issue of human trafficking. Ortiz, who was a victim of trafficking herself, said society needs to realize that victims do not need pity; instead, victims need to be supported in many ways.
“We are talking about our girls,” Alejandre said at the event. “They are people too and they are not just defined by their trafficking experience.”
The state of Virginia was ranked sixth for active cases in 2018 for human trafficking. The state had almost 200 reported cases in the 2018. Interstate 95 is the main concern for the state. State and local law enforcement are staying vigilant also help to aid the victims. A conference was held in November that offered training for criminal justice professions. In 2015, Virginia was the only state without human trafficking laws, later that year they implemented two new laws.
Manhattan District Attorney will award $2 Million over the next three years to address youth sex trafficking in New York City. Traffickers are targeting children and teens, and the children in the welfare system are at a higher risk. The initiative that was developed by Administration for Children’s Services and the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence are tackling this problem. The money will be used for healthcare, crisis counseling, shelter and long-term goals like education and employment.
In Yakima, Washington two men are being charged with human trafficking a minor. The 16-year-old victim came to the police in January of this year. The two men would buy her alcohol and get her blacked out drunk. The two men took her to a hotel where a man in her 30’s and a man in his 70’s was waiting.
BOSTON – 74-year old Walter Brown was sentenced to 15 years on Friday in federal court in Springfield on sex trafficking and sexual exploitation charges.
On Oct 11, 2019, co-defendant Claire Poole was sentenced to 10 and a half years (125 months) in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking. Poole moved to the Springfield area in early 2017 and later helped Brown have sex with a teenage girl.
A UPD officer is hosting a human trafficking safety conference on Thursday. This event is happening at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas. The goal of the conference is to raise awareness of what is happening on a local, state and national level on human trafficking. They wan to put it to an end. Texas ranks first in the nation for active human trafficking cases.
In Cleveland, Ohio two people have been charged with human trafficking. A 20-year-old woman recruited three teenage girls to participate in sexual activity. A pastor patronized these girls twice. He paid to have sex with the underage girls around August and November in 2018. If convicted, the woman could face up to 10-15 years while the pastor could face up to six years.
Texas is making a huge stride that could help give survivors a fresh new start. The governor’s office of Texas has announced that survivors of human trafficking and domestic abuse can apply for clemency and have their crimes pardoned. Their application would go to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and they would determine if they were forced to do the crime by the trafficker or abusive partner. If so, they could be pardoned for their crime.
A man in Oxford, Nebraska has been arrested on human trafficking charges. He has been charged with three counts of felony sex trafficking a minor. The maximum penalty for each of the counts is life in prison. A month ago, another man in Furnas County was arrested on similar charges. He faces five felonies.
A fashion executive’s office has been raided in Manhattan, New York. He is facing a sexual assault and Trafficking Lawsuit that has been filed this month. The multimillionaire was the subject of an investigation from 2015 to 2017 for human trafficking. The man has not been charged yet.
Three men in Bloomington, Illinois have been charged with sex trafficking and child pornography. These men are from the ages of 20-24. The investigation began in June and the Bloomington Police Department worked with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The next 12 months will be a busy time for Tampa, Florida. Two major sporting events are coming, and the city is preparing for them now. WrestleMania and the Super Bowl will bring in thousands of sports fans to the city. Major sporting events like this can attract more illegal sex trade. Hillsborough County created a commission on human tracking, and they met for the first time this week. They crated a hero program which is designed for the community and business to look out for signs.
After rescuing seven goats from a slaughterhouse, Rob and Debbie Canton are now helping raise money and awareness for human trafficking in the Tampa Bay area after reading a blog post from Bill Gates that said “Can Goats Empower Women?”
The project began in India to help women gain an income and become less vulnerable to fraudulent job officers. Proceeds from the goat sculptures that project G.O.A.T. sells will go to organizations that help fight human trafficking both locally and globally. There are currently 56 goat sculptures that have been made in advance which are scheduled to be sold for the Super Bowl LVI.
Police have recovered six girls that are minors from a hotel room in Portland Oregon. The investigation started a week ago when officers responded to a shot fired call and a possible abduction that happened on 15th Avenue. Two more girls went missing the next day in Portland. Two adult males were taken into custody.
In Waco, Texas a 34-year-old man was arrested last year on a felony charge involving child pornography. He is facing new charges of a second-degree charge. The new charge came when investigators found thousands of child pornography images. Australian law enforcement conducted a raid and informed U.S DHS of suspicious activity.
Airbnb has teamed up with Polaris, who are a non-profit that fights human trafficking. Airbnb has seen a variety of sex trafficking at the rentals. Airbnb has rentals all over the world and they are starting to create a safety training for the agents. In sex trafficking cases that listed where a commercial sex act took place 81.5% were at a hotel.
In Georgia, a lawmaker has proposed a bill that will ban human traffickers from operating commercial vehicles for life. This bill mirrors No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act that President Trump signed in January 2018. In the state of Georgia, if you are transporting 16 or more people you need a commercial driver’s license. House Bill 823 would permanently revoke the license of a driver involved in human trafficking.
Following Super Bowl 54 in Miami, Florida twenty-two women trapped in human trafficking were rescued over Super Bowl weekend. The victims were all female ranging from ages of 15 to 38. Four of the victims were from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, 14 from other states and four from foreign countries. Five people were charged with trafficking and three of them on federal crimes. Eight buyers were also arrested. With the joined forces of local, state and federal agencies it was a success said a special agent of Homeland Security.
Nine years ago, a woman from Maine went down to Seekonk, Massachusetts to help a man that he knew. Once they checked into a hotel the man turned violent. She was held against her will for days and was sexually assaulted. Once she escaped, she did something that nobody has ever done at the time. Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act she sued the hotel for its role in the crime. She said they knew that she was needed help, but they did nothing. She won the lawsuit and now more victims are suing hotels for the same thing.
Simpsonville, South Carolina a workshop was held on the signs of human trafficking. Hotel staff at the Holiday INN Express & Suites were at the workshop learning about signs that they showed watch out for throughout the hotel. Nonprofit SWITCH was also helping put the workshop on. SWITCH wants to end human trafficking in the Upstate. It has five programs for survivors of human trafficking.
In Connecticut legislators and advocates want ways to combat human trafficking. They want increased prevention efforts and services to support women and children who are at a higher risk to exploitation. The meeting that legislators had this week want to expand Connecticut’s definition of sex trafficking. They also want victims not to be charged with trafficking if their trafficker made them recruit other kids.
In Tampa, Florida a man was convicted in 2019 involving a minor. He told the judge that he kept hearing voices. Court records show that they met with another man at an apartment complex. A search warrant shows text messaging showing the location of the meet up and the price. Also, with the phone records they came across websites used for prostitution.
In Cleveland, Ohio a priest was charged with possession of child pornography and now he faces other charges. He has been indicted by a Cuyahoga County grand jury and he faces allegations in Geauga County involving children and abuse.
Brown County, Wisconsin non-profits and lawmakers are working on a bill to help fight human trafficking. The bill has a 5,000 surcharge for men caught buying sex. Human trafficking is growing in Wisconsin with cases being seen in every county in the state. The anti-human trafficking organization Eye Heart World started four-and-a-half years ago and has helped 190 women.
MGM Northfield Park is donating $10,000 to a local task force that is dedicated to stopping human trafficking in northeastern Ohio. Summit County Sheriff Division of Human Trafficking and Prostitution will help with healthcare for victims and provide resources to the sheriff’s department. MGM Northfield Park is also offering training to its employees to understand the signs for human trafficking. Ohio reported around 400 cases to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Ohio is fourth in the number of cases.
A student organization group at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida held a conference on human trafficking to educate students and others who wanted to learn more about this issue. There were many guest speakers who talked about different topics in human trafficking. The history on human trafficking and the laws on human trafficking. Case studies were read that the audience interacted with. This conference was put on by the TOT which is Triumph Over Trafficking.
A law passed by Congress in 2005 mandated that the Justice Department provide research, statistical review and analysis of severe trafficking of persons every two years in order to know the scope of the problem. Unfortunately, only one was ever done, in 2009.
This new bill will mandate that a comprehensive national study on human trafficking will be conducted every two years there will be statistical information available to the public to see as well as help experts in human trafficking to learn how human traffickers are currently operating and how to stop them. Kevin Malone, president of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, said that these national studies “would be a tremendous help because a lot of people don’t believe the problem exists.”
A man is in federal court on two counts of sex trafficking in Sacramento, California. One of them involving a child. A 30-page criminal complaint that was filed in December of 2018 has four years of sex trafficking activity. Sunnyvale Police interviewed three females that this man had been using.
A nonprofit Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking in Seattle, Washington is assisting leaders in the business world on ways to prevent human trafficking. The biggest way in and out of Seattle is the port and they are stepping up the efforts to spot and end human trafficking through the ports. Signs are going up in and around the port for victims on how to find help.
This time of the year in New Orleans, Louisiana is Carnival season. With Mardi Gras, then the French Quarter Fest millions of people will come to New Orleans over this time period. A human traffic survivor works as the prevention assistant and survivor leader at Eden House. She wants to help get the message out to young girls.