Category: Kansas

Victim assistance grants available

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.

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Kansas Made This Sex Trafficking Survivor A Criminal — She Wants Another Chance

Hope Joy Zeferjohn, a Topeka, KS native, became a victim of the commercial sex trade while in state custody, ran away, and was sent to prison for aggravated human trafficking. Despite federal and state laws that bar prosecuting children for prostitution, Zeferjohn is serving a nearly six-year sentence in the Topeka Correctional Facility and will spend a lifetime on the state sex offender registry.

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Wichita man paid girl to recruit others for sex, court docs say

Long Van, 38, of Wichita, KS, was charged with aggravated human trafficking of a 15-year-old girl. Van, a registered sex offender, was already on Community Corrections for a conviction of commercial sexual exploitation of a child in 2017. A search on the teen’s phone uncovered more than 2900 messages between her and and Van in which they discussed exchanging money for sex and enlisting the teen to recruit other girls for sex.

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Protecting kids from human trafficking online

Founder of the Stop Trafficking Project Russ Tuttle spoke at the Law Enforcement Center about social media, the online world kids are in and how it all relates to human trafficking. Tuttle said traffickers target vulnerabilities, often through games like Fortnite and Minecraft.

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Trafficking risk surprising in rural Kansas

January is a month devoted to raising awareness of human trafficking, and Marissa Woodmansee, director of Juvenile Services for Barton County, did her part Saturday afternoon at a public informational event at the Great Bend Public Library. She shared some background on the evolution of her own human trafficking awareness, and recent developments of importance to the community, especially parents of pre-teens and teens. “It’s important to understand what human trafficking is and what it looks like,” she said. According to the website for the Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is modern-day slavery.

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