Memphis, Tenn.– D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee announced an indictment agains a 54-year-old registered sex offender. The indictment alleges that in February 2020, Patterson was found to be in possession of a cell phone that contained images and videos of child pornography. Further investigation resulted in identification of the children depicted, and Patterson’s role in producing the images and videos, which were made between December 2019 and February 2020. The children were all under twelve years of age, and at least one was younger than ten.
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
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.
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.
Leah Gunn, has recently escaped sex trafficking after being trapped for nearly two decades, Leah is now working part time at RE+NEW+ALL, candle company in Memphis, TN, is providing survivors of sex trafficking the opportunity to have a new purpose. “In its earliest form, RE+NEW+ALL was not a business — it was art therapy.” Survivors are able to work part time and work on their goals whether it is reconnecting with a loved one or going back to school to get a G.E.D. Although, severe thunderstorms in January flooded their studio, their inventory was saved.
To learn more about RE+NEW+ALL and what they are doing in Memphis visit their website at https://www.renewallcandle.com/
Darrell Hampton, 30, of Memphis, TN, fired shots at the 17 and 18-year-old victims, told them they were not free to leave, told them he would take them to Atlanta to work and even told the 18-year-old he would kill her grandmother if she didn’t cooperate.
Brian Curtis, 30, of Memphis, TN, has been charged with sex trafficking, kidnapping and assault after a 19-year-old woman told police Curtis held her in his hotel room, destroyed her cell phone and forced her to have sex with men for money. The victim was beaten so badly that she had to be taken to the hospital where she alerted the police.
Patrick D. Falte, 29, of Franklin, TN. was sentenced to 35 years for running “the Giftbox Exchange” which is a website haven for sophisticated predators to produce and spread deplorable depictions of child sexual abuse including a “Babies & Toddlers” section.. To access the website, users were required to upload and share images and videos of children being sexually abused before gaining entry to the site.
A Tennessee sex trafficking victim sentenced to life in prison as a teenager is now free, and her release is a milestone in the fight to end trafficking. Cyntoia Brown shot and killed a man who solicited her for sex 15 years ago.
30-year-old Anna Gutierrez of Nashville, TN. was placing internet ads and then forcing the victim to engage in prostitution with the men that responded. The victim told officers she was taken against her will from Arizona May 18th, and forced into prostitution.
“Our state has consistently been ranked among the best in the nation for its approach to this crime, as a growing number of advocates — from law enforcement to nonprofits to government agencies,” the TBI website states.
A former Memphis, TN. police officer Andrew Hellums was previously arrested Feb. 2 after sending pictures of his genitals to an 8-year-old California girl and asking her to send him pictures of herself performing sexual acts, according to court documents. He was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor and solicitation of a minor.
The TBI said arrested 34-year-old Edgar R. Gallegos and Armadi Imade, 38, each for one count of trafficking for a commercial sex act. According to court documents, the men exchanged money for sexual acts with an undercover officer posing as a 15-year-old minor.
Jamarius Strickland of Memphis, TN. was again taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with trafficking for commercial sex acts. According to the victim, Strickland and another woman recruited her. Court documents state he “promised to provide protection, food clothing and personal needs” to a woman “as long as she gave him the money received from going on sex dates with men.”
According to a press release from the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force, the purpose of the day is to educate citizens about human trafficking, raise awareness, outline victim identifiers and explain how to report potential human trafficking situations.
Monday was a monumental day for survivors of sex trafficking. Tennessee resident Cyntoia Brown, a child sex trafficking survivor convicted of killing the man who bought her when she was 16 from her trafficker with the intent of raping her, has been granted clemency.
After 15 years in prison, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has granted full clemency to Cyntoia Brown.
Brown, a sex trafficking victim serving a life sentence for the 2004 murder of a man who payed her to have sex as a child. Cyntoia was 16 years old when she shot and killed the 43 year old man.
NASHVILLE — U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Friday that a colleague, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, will now lead congressional efforts to end modern slavery across the globe after the Chattanoogan leaves office next week.
“For years, Senator Portman has been a champion in Congress in the fight against human trafficking here at home, and I can think of no one better to take up the mantle in the global fight against this scourge on humanity as I depart the Senate,” Corker stated Friday in a news release.
Tennessee Governor Haslam was speaking at an event when Justin Lang, a higher-education professional stepped up to the mic during the audience question portion. “As a victim of sex trafficking and assault, this is an unjust sentence in the first place,” Lang said. Under Tennessee law, all minors engaged in sex work are legally considered victims of sex trafficking. “She has not been treated as a victim of trafficking and not given the justice she deserves.”
A Murfreesboro woman who was part of a human trafficking case managed to escape her captors Thanksgiving Day. The woman escaped her perpetrators by jumping out of a bathroom window in Murfreesboro and running to the Thornton’s on Old Fort Boulevard where she called her mother and then police. The 29-year old victim told police she had been sold, traded and swapped for money and drugs in the Bradyville and Readyville areas of Rutherford County, as well as Grundy County, and in Kentucky. According to a police report, the victim said she was given the drug ketamine, which induces a trance-like state, to make her sleep at night. Her captors also forced her to use cocaine during the day, she reported.
During conversations, Kaufman told the purported child he was “rich” and had multiple businesses in Memphis, including an escort service. He also said she could make an enormous amount of money modeling for him and claimed he was in the Mafia in an attempt to intimidate her into giving him money for a “modeling fee” and to not call the police.
Isiah Hayes, left, and Daireus Ice, right, were indicted Tuesday after police say they sexually assaulted a 9-month-old baby and recorded it on a cellphone in Shelby County, Tennessee, the district attorney’s office said. Shelby County District Attorney