Another Women is now Missing in Las Vegas

Another woman is now missing in Las Vegas

My daughter Jessie Foster is an international endangered missing woman whose case has been identified as a classic case of human trafficking – of modern-day sex slavery. Jessie has been missing from the Las Vegas area since March 29th, 2006 when she was just 21 years old – her 27th birthday is on May 27th, 2011.

Jessie’s case has received a fair bit of media attention, but by no means has got the attention it deserves, considering the implications that come with being the victim of human trafficking – of having been beaten and forced to work for an escort agency – of having been arrested, charged and convicted of solicitation of prostitution – and of being kidnapped and taken away somewhere.

Jessie is either still being forced into prostitution or she has been murdered, I don’t know what has happened to her. But what I do know is that Jessie NEEDS to be found either way.

 There have been many women who have gone missing in Sin City. Too many, just like everywhere, but in Las Vegas there is a sigma put on some of them who are ‘known’ to have been a prostitute. No one bothers to check the facts to see if any of these women were forced into it, they just figure that they were living a ‘high-risk lifestyle’, so no wonder something bad happened to them.

Three women in particular, besides Jessie, who have gone missing since 2003 are Misty Marie Saens, Jodi Marie Brewer and Lindsay Marie Harris. All four women have arrest records for prostitution, all four women went missing from the Las Vegas area.

Misty, Jodi and Lindsay were found between several weeks and several years later – all were deceased and all were found along a deserted highway in garbage bags in Nevada (Saens), California (Brewer) and Illinois (Harris). When they were found, it was just their torsos and/or legs – no heads and no arms (meaning no dental records or fingerprints could be used to identify these women). Jessie has never been found.

Misty, Jodi and Lindsay were all last seen outside their homes, making them possible victims of a truck driver serial killer. Jessie was last seen in her home and all her belongings went missing when she disappeared, making the truck driver scenario not very likely.

MISTY MARIE SAENS – missing since March 2003 from Las Vegas, Nevada. The name of the dismembered woman found along a deserted Nevada highway in the Las Vegas Valley was unknown for two years, when she was finally identified as Misty in 2005. UNSOLVED 

JODI MARIE BREWER – missing since August 14, 2003 from Las Vegas, Nevada. The name of the dismembered woman found along a highway in San Bernardino, California was unknown for three weeks, when she was identified as Jodi through her tattoos; a hummingbird above her left breast and the letter “M” on her lower back. UNSOLVED

LINDSAY MARIE HARRIS – missing since May 5, 2005 from Las Vegas, Nevada. The name of the woman whose severed legs were found off a highway in Springfield, Illinois on May 23, 2005 was unknown until May 2008 when Jane Doe was identified as Lindsay through a tattoo on her thigh. UNSOLVED 

JESSICA “JESSIE” EDITH LOUISE FOSTER – missing since March 29, 2006 from Las Vegas, Nevada. STILL MISSING

 Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are many more – but for this writing, I am only mentioning these women.

Now, there is a very distinct difference in Jessie’s case (besides the obvious – she has not been found, alive or dead) and that is the details of her disappearance. First off, Misty, Jodi and Lindsay all went missing from outside their homes. All their belongings were still in their homes as they were left – as if the women would be home later. We reported Jessie missing and that she was last heard from while at her home and almost all of her belongings went missing with her.

NOTE: Jessie was planning on returning to Canada to attend a family wedding reception and her things were packed. The only things of Jessie’s that were still in the house were her hair-dryer and her make-up, two things that Jessie would never leave behind on purpose.

We know she was already packed, it was one of the things she told her sister during the last time we ever heard from her. We also know that women will pack their belongings the night before, leaving their hair products and make-up out so they can use them in the morning . . . the usual scenario would be to get up; take a shower; do their hair & make-up; pack their hair products & make-up; and then leave.

 Now there has been another Las Vegas missing woman in the news in the past week or so, Debbie Flores Narvaez. Debbie is a dancer who just recently earned the spot of solo dancer the Luxor Hotel and Casino’s show, FANTASY, beating out over a hundred other women who auditioned for this exclusive spot (the Luxor is the same hotel that Lindsay was ‘apparently’ heading to when she was last heard from in May 2005). It is certainly not very likely that Debbie chose to leave – so obviously that means something has happened to her.

I am proud of the HLN shows (PrimeTime News, Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell’s Issues) that are always airing stories about the war on women and about the missing, and Debbie’s case is no different. If not for you, there would be practically no news coverage for some of the missing and that just adds to the tragedy. I know for a fact the Nancy Grace show has helped find a missing 12-year-old girl and her abductor just recently – I can only imagine how wonderful it must have felt when you first heard this fantastic news.

One thing I have wondered about though, and I was hoping someone could clear this up for me, is why more stories about human trafficking have not been done on your station (since it is the third largest illegal money making activity in the world, next to drugs and guns – and growing), and why you have never aired a segment on Jessie’s disappearance or even put up her poster? It is not as if I have not asked.

My first email to the Nancy Grace show was back when Jessie first went missing – April 16, 2006 – the same day I emailed several shows, including the Montel Williams show. Montel had me on his show in April of 2007 and his producer and crew were at my home in British Columbia to do an update in May 2008 – but the Nancy Grace show has not even acknowledged my emails (other than the one that is automatically sent).

And twice ISSUES has had me waiting, but without even as much as a call to say never mind – they never called back. I am just glad that I do not expect anything; I just appreciate everything that anyone can to do help. So, in other words – oh well!!

We were all told that Debbie, this beautiful, talented woman, gave up her career to follow her dream and she has now been missing for over a week, with not a clue as to what happened to her. Well, I shouldn’t say there is not a clue – the police do have their ideas as to what happened, even if the family doesn’t.

We need to let people know that past the beautiful lights and fun-loving times that can be had in Las Vegas is something sinister. After all, its nickname is SIN CITY. Does that not say something right off the top? Does that not bother all the law-abiding citizens of the world who go to Sin City? Because, as everyone knows, WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS IN VEGAS!      And now –

DEBORA “DEBBIE” FLORES NARVAEZ – missing since December 12, 2010 from Las Vegas, Nevada. STILL MISSING 

PLEASE, help me get Jessie’s story out to your huge audience. I know HLN shows have huge followings, and not just on the television. You have Facebook, Twitter and your website, and they all get a lot of traffic.

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Another woman is now missing in Las Vegas

My daughter Jessie Foster is an international endangered missing woman whose case has been identified as a classic case of human trafficking – of modern-day sex slavery. Jessie has been missing from the Las Vegas area since March 29th, 2006 when she was just 21 years old – her 27th birthday is on May 27th, 2011.

Jessie’s case has received a fair bit of media attention, but by no means has got the attention it deserves, considering the implications that come with being the victim of human trafficking – of having been beaten and forced to work for an escort agency – of having been arrested, charged and convicted of solicitation of prostitution – and of being kidnapped and taken away somewhere.

Jessie is either still being forced into prostitution or she has been murdered, I don’t know what has happened to her. But what I do know is that Jessie NEEDS to be found either way.

 There have been many women who have gone missing in Sin City. Too many, just like everywhere, but in Las Vegas there is a sigma put on some of them who are ‘known’ to have been a prostitute. No one bothers to check the facts to see if any of these women were forced into it, they just figure that they were living a ‘high-risk lifestyle’, so no wonder something bad happened to them.

Three women in particular, besides Jessie, who have gone missing since 2003 are Misty Marie Saens, Jodi Marie Brewer and Lindsay Marie Harris. All four women have arrest records for prostitution, all four women went missing from the Las Vegas area.

Misty, Jodi and Lindsay were found between several weeks and several years later – all were deceased and all were found along a deserted highway in garbage bags in Nevada (Saens), California (Brewer) and Illinois (Harris). When they were found, it was just their torsos and/or legs – no heads and no arms (meaning no dental records or fingerprints could be used to identify these women). Jessie has never been found.

Misty, Jodi and Lindsay were all last seen outside their homes, making them possible victims of a truck driver serial killer. Jessie was last seen in her home and all her belongings went missing when she disappeared, making the truck driver scenario not very likely.

MISTY MARIE SAENS – missing since March 2003 from Las Vegas, Nevada. The name of the dismembered woman found along a deserted Nevada highway in the Las Vegas Valley was unknown for two years, when she was finally identified as Misty in 2005. UNSOLVED 

JODI MARIE BREWER – missing since August 14, 2003 from Las Vegas, Nevada. The name of the dismembered woman found along a highway in San Bernardino, California was unknown for three weeks, when she was identified as Jodi through her tattoos; a hummingbird above her left breast and the letter “M” on her lower back. UNSOLVED

LINDSAY MARIE HARRIS – missing since May 5, 2005 from Las Vegas, Nevada. The name of the woman whose severed legs were found off a highway in Springfield, Illinois on May 23, 2005 was unknown until May 2008 when Jane Doe was identified as Lindsay through a tattoo on her thigh. UNSOLVED 

JESSICA “JESSIE” EDITH LOUISE FOSTER – missing since March 29, 2006 from Las Vegas, Nevada. STILL MISSING

 

Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are many more – but for this writing, I am only mentioning these women.

Now, there is a very distinct difference in Jessie’s case (besides the obvious – she has not been found, alive or dead) and that is the details of her disappearance. First off, Misty, Jodi and Lindsay all went missing from outside their homes. All their belongings were still in their homes as they were left – as if the women would be home later. We reported Jessie missing and that she was last heard from while at her home and almost all of her belongings went missing with her.

NOTE: Jessie was planning on returning to Canada to attend a family wedding reception and her things were packed. The only things of Jessie’s that were still in the house were her hair-dryer and her make-up, two things that Jessie would never leave behind on purpose.

We know she was already packed, it was one of the things she told her sister during the last time we ever heard from her. We also know that women will pack their belongings the night before, leaving their hair products and make-up out so they can use them in the morning . . . the usual scenario would be to get up; take a shower; do their hair & make-up; pack their hair products & make-up; and then leave.

 

Now there has been another Las Vegas missing woman in the news in the past week or so, Debbie Flores Narvaez. Debbie is a dancer who just recently earned the spot of solo dancer the Luxor Hotel and Casino’s show, FANTASY, beating out over a hundred other women who auditioned for this exclusive spot (the Luxor is the same hotel that Lindsay was ‘apparently’ heading to when she was last heard from in May 2005). It is certainly not very likely that Debbie chose to leave – so obviously that means something has happened to her.

I am proud of the HLN shows (PrimeTime News, Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell’s Issues) that are always airing stories about the war on women and about the missing, and Debbie’s case is no different. If not for you, there would be practically no news coverage for some of the missing and that just adds to the tragedy. I know for a fact the Nancy Grace show has helped find a missing 12-year-old girl and her abductor just recently – I can only imagine how wonderful it must have felt when you first heard this fantastic news.

One thing I have wondered about though, and I was hoping someone could clear this up for me, is why more stories about human trafficking have not been done on your station (since it is the third largest illegal money making activity in the world, next to drugs and guns – and growing), and why you have never aired a segment on Jessie’s disappearance or even put up her poster? It is not as if I have not asked.

My first email to the Nancy Grace show was back when Jessie first went missing – April 16, 2006 – the same day I emailed several shows, including the Montel Williams show. Montel had me on his show in April of 2007 and his producer and crew were at my home in British Columbia to do an update in May 2008 – but the Nancy Grace show has not even acknowledged my emails (other than the one that is automatically sent).

And twice ISSUES has had me waiting, but without even as much as a call to say never mind – they never called back. I am just glad that I do not expect anything; I just appreciate everything that anyone can to do help. So, in other words – oh well!!

We were all told that Debbie, this beautiful, talented woman, gave up her career to follow her dream and she has now been missing for over a week, with not a clue as to what happened to her. Well, I shouldn’t say there is not a clue – the police do have their ideas as to what happened, even if the family doesn’t.

We need to let people know that past the beautiful lights and fun-loving times that can be had in Las Vegas is something sinister. After all, its nickname is SIN CITY. Does that not say something right off the top? Does that not bother all the law-abiding citizens of the world who go to Sin City? Because, as everyone knows, WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS IN VEGAS!

 

And now –

DEBORA “DEBBIE” FLORES NARVAEZ – missing since December 12, 2010 from Las Vegas, Nevada. STILL MISSING 

 

PLEASE, help me get Jessie’s story out to your huge audience. I know HLN shows have huge followings, and not just on the television. You have Facebook, Twitter and your website, and they all get a lot of traffic.

 

source:http://mail.aol.com/33069

YWCA gets federal funds to shelter sex trafficking victims

The YWCA of Greater Portland will use $900,000 in federal money to help establish a shelter for victims of human sex trafficking, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden plans to announce in Portland on Saturday.

The funds come after a U.S. Department of Justice study ranked Portland and Seattle among 12 hub cities where traffickers recruit teenagers for sex work and move them around the country.

“One of the problems police have is these girls, when they’re arrested or turn themselves in or want to get out of the life, they have no place to go,” says Tom Towslee, a spokesman for Wyden. “It takes time for police to develop the evidence and case they need against the traffickers. With no place to go, all too often they end up going back into the shadows and often return to the men who abused them in the first place.

“These women are not criminals. They need someplace they can be safe, not in a jail, and can get services like counseling, which they need to turn their lives around.”

Saltzman efforts

The YWCA initiative is just one of a few underway to help get sex trafficking victims and prostitutes off the street and into safe houses.

Wyden’s office is also co-sponsoring a bill with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, that would bring a federal grant of $2.5 million per year for three years, to create six safe houses around the country for girls 12 to 18 years old. Towslee says that Wyden hopes Portland would receive one of those grants, since it is recognized as a major hub for underage sex trafficking. The funds would support a safe house as well as boost law enforcement resources toward combating the crime.

The third effort under way is led by City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who is working on a pilot program that would begin this fall. The program would place women seeking to escape their life on the street into private-market units around the city, rather than in one central “safe house.”

Offering support

The nonprofit Join, which already works with the city’s housing efforts, uses a “housing-first” model that places people in housing and then gives them the social, financial and other support they need to maintain that housing. Join will provide the up-front rent and moving costs, work with the landlord and supply other help as needed.

LifeWorks Northwest, the nonprofit treatment center that already provides many services to these women, will supply the counseling, addiction treatment, employment assistance and any other help they may need.

If the woman relapses and returns to the street for a short time, she will not lose their housing, since that’s one of the philosophies of the housing-first model, says Amy Trieu, a policy coordinator for Saltzman: “The purpose is to build that trust.”

The city plans to start with a small group of four to six women this fall, then expand later.

Wyden will announce the funds for the YWCA at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the facility, 1111 S.W. 10th Ave. Other leaders joining him include Saltzman, County Commissioner Diane McKeel, State Rep. Carolyn Tomei and Eric Brown, executive director of the YWCA of Greater Portland.

source:http://portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=128044540611027200

Man receives 17 years for child sex trafficking

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A man who prostituted two Florida teen girls across the country has been sentenced to 17 1/2 years in federal prison in Santa Ana.

Dwayne Lawson pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of sex trafficking of children as part of a plea agreement.

Lawson was arrested in April 2009, soon after Los Angeles police arrested a 17-year-old girl for prostitution.

Federal prosecutors say Lawson contacted the girl on Myspace in 2008, promising to make her a star and giving her a bus ticket from Florida to Las Vegas. He admitted later to bringing the girl to Orange County to work as a prostitute.

Prosecutors say he drove a second girl from Miami to Orange County in 2008, having her engage in commercial sex acts along the way.

Campaign to end human trafficking

Mayor Mike Bloomberg launched a campaign last week against human trafficking, with posters and a new website to educate the public about modern-day slavery.
   “This new public education campaign will play a critical role in raising awareness of the impact of this horrible crime, encouraging New Yorkers to report it and most importantly letting victims know that help is available,” Bloomberg said. “Working together, let’s call an end to human trafficking.”

Human trafficking is described as the recruiting, transporting, selling or buying of people for the purpose of various forms of sexual or labor exploitation.
   The city will display posters in the five boroughs on bus shelters through June 13. A new anti-trafficking website can be found at nyc.gov to provide more information.
   Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Roman said human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world, but that the average person doesn’t know how to recognize this form of servitude.
   Although human trafficking can be difficult to recognize because it is often kept out of sight, some examples are prostitutes, domestic workers, factory workers, landscapers, restaurant workers and those working in nail salons or janitorial jobs. Victims can be American-born or immigrants.
   The city says if you are a victim or want to report criminal activity, call 911. For information or to help, call 311.
   Bill Livermore, executive director of the Somaly Mam Foundation and a member of the city Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, said the practice is a multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprise nationwide, involving men, women and children. “Public education is part of a comprehensive strategy to eradicate human trafficking,” Livermore said.
   His nonprofit group is committed to ending slavery in North America and around the world.
   Karen Siegel, a psychologist, presented a stunning display of statistics on sexual exploitation of women during a forum on sex trafficking sponsored by the Center for the Women of New York at Borough Hall in March. “Labor and sex trafficking are the second largest and fastest growing crime in the world,” Siegel said. “It soon will top drug trafficking.”
   The mayor’s office utilized research available on its website from the Human Trafficking Resource Center, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC, which operates a 24-hour hotline and disseminates information to the public. The hot-line averages 800 calls a month. “Awareness is increasing and more people are reporting sex trafficking,” said Andrea Austin, a spokeswoman for the group.
   The U.S. Department of State estimates 600,000 to 800,000 victims annually are trafficked across borders worldwide. Many taken to the United States do not speak English and are unable to communicate with people who could help them.
   According to the Human Trafficking Resource Center, traffickers use force, fraud and coercion to control the victims. Force can involve rape, beatings and confinement. Fraud involves false advertising for jobs in other countries that turn out to be prostitution, and coercion involves threats to people or their loved ones, taking their passports and making them become in debt to the traffickers.
   In Queens, Asian women are especially lured here with the promise of a job or a better way of life. Instead, they end up enslaved, owing their traffickers money, without documentation and kept as prostitutes in brothels, illegal massage parlors or on the street.
   Human rights groups in Queens applauded the mayor’s campaign, saying that human trafficking has gone on for too long.
   Susan Jung, founder of River in the Desert Advocacy Center in Flushing, said the initiative is a good beginning. “The public must be made aware of it,” Jung said. “It’s been going on for years, but is just now getting publicized.”
   Her group was organized in 2002 and fights domestic violence as well as human trafficking. Jeng noted that many of the traffickers are the victims’ husbands or mothers. “We call them snake heads in Chinese,” she said, “because they are so awful.”
   Jung wants to build a safe haven for victims in Flushing. “Walking down the street in Flushing, you never know who is affected by human trafficking,” she added.
   Ann Jawin, founder and chairwoman of the Center for the Women of New York, was elated about the mayor’s campaign. “That’s wonderful,” Jawin said. “It comes at a good time.”
   Since February, Jawin’s group has been waging its own battle against sex trafficking by asking Queens newspaper owners to pledge not to accept ads for services that are clearly a front for prostitution.
   So far, only Queens Chronicle Publisher Mark Weidler has signed, earning him a Good Guys award from the CWNY on Saturday. He says the Chronicle does not run such ads and will not in the future.
   Jawin is continuing to reach out to other Queens papers and if they don’t respond positively, she has vowed to get businesses and libraries to stop distributing them.

source:http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20432189&BRD=2731&PAG=461&dept_id=574902&rfi=8

Oakland taking steps to fight sex trafficking

Oakland officials and community leaders are taking steps to fight sex trafficking in the city.

Members of the Victory Outreach Church of Oakland gathered Friday night in front of Oakland City Hall to increase awareness of sex trafficking and child exploitation in Oakland.

Volunteers from the church take to the streets on weekly basis to try to reach women and girls working as prostitutes. On any given night they meet more than a dozen teens and young women working as prostitutes, according to church members.

“We’re just letting them know there’s a destiny for their life,” said Sylvia Vigil, wife of the church’s pastor. “Basically they’re all victims,” she said.

The gathering took place after an Oakland man was convicted earlier in the day of kidnapping two teenage prostitutes and making them work for him.

Prosecutors said Vincent Turner was facing the possibility of life in prison after being convicted of kidnapping, human trafficking and rape Friday.

“To have a jury come back today with that verdict … shows that we have turned a corner,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said Friday outside City Hall.

Turner’s case is one of the 140 that have been prosecuted in Alameda County since mid-2006, according to O’Malley. Of those, 110 resulted in felony convictions. All involved minors and multiple victims.

Turner, 31, is due to be sentenced June 25.

source: http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_14819168

REGION: Two safe houses open for sex trafficking victims

Shelters to help women in their long road to recovery

Women in need of shelter and protection after being rescued from forced prostitution now have two more safe houses in the region, one of which is the first in North County, advocates for the victims said.

Advocates for victims of sex trafficking said the new houses are desperately needed in the region, where women and girls are brought from other parts of the country —- and the world —- to be used in the sex trade.

The North County safe house is nearly ready to serve victims, advocates said.

It is being sponsored by several organizations, including the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, the Vista Soroptimist Club and other volunteers.

Another safe house opened in San Diego earlier this month and is being run by Generate Hope, a new nonprofit that provides long-term recovery services for victims of sexual exploitation.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Marisa Ugarte, director of the nonprofit National City-based Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, which rescues victims of sex trafficking.

The coalition also helps run a safe house in South Bay, Ugarte said.

But North County has long been recognized by victims advocates and law enforcement as the hub for sex trafficking.

When women are rescued from a prostitution ring, there are few shelters specifically designed to meet their needs, advocates said.

“These women are brainwashed by their pimps,” Ugarte said. “They are traumatized and filled with fear so that they will not testify against them.”

Victims often are torn from their families and taken to unfamiliar places to serve as prostitutes.

Some are young women and girls brought from other countries, such as Mexico, to work in migrant camps.

In one such case, Adrian Zitlalpopoca, a Mexican man, was found guilty in January of smuggling two women from Mexico to Vista to work as prostitutes in North County migrant camps.

In another case, local teens reportedly were used by criminal gangs to work the streets of North County.

Ten documented Oceanside gang members were indicted in federal court last year on charges related to pimping three teenage females.

Recovery can be a difficult process, said Holly Hepburn, director of program development for Generate Hope.

“These girls have gone through so much, and it takes them years to go through the recovery process,” she said.

Generate Hope’s safe house in San Diego has three victims living in the facility, Hepburn said.

The organization has three other women participating in its long-term recovery program, she said.

The program, funded largely through public donations, offers education, job training, life-skills training, individual and group therapy, recreational activities and other support services.

In North County, the Vista Soroptimist Club has long worked to raise awareness of the sex trafficking problem.

Club president Catherine Manis said she became aware of the problem when she was executive director of the Vista Townsite Community Partnership.

When she became president of the Vista Soroptimists in 2005, Manis said, she decided to use the organization to shed light on the problem.

She organized town hall meetings and presentations on human trafficking and sex slavery.

Subsequent club presidents continued the group’s focus on the topic, Manis said.

A donor recently stepped forward to provide a home that would serve as a safe house.

With the help of the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition and two Catholic nuns, they decided to open the shelter.

The two nuns, Sisters Jean Schafer and Sheila Novak, are making final preparations at the house, whose location was not revealed to protect the future residents.

It will house four to six victims at a time, the nuns said.

Schafer and Novak previously operated the Hope House, a safe house, for the California Central Coast Coalition to Stop Enslavement, an anti-human-trafficking organization in Santa Cruz County.

For more information, visit the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition’s Web site at www.bsccoalition.org or Generate Hope at www.generatehope.org.

source:  http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/article_a5ac09e4-d6b7-51b9-ac98-3802c4e9b471.html


Houston man in federal court, charged with sex trafficking a minor

A Houston man is the first person in the Southern District of Texas to be charged in federal court with sex trafficking of a minor, KHOU.com’s Jeff McShan reported.

Barry Davis, who was arrested in July by a federal task force, is on trial in a Houston court.

It’s a problem that has become an epidemic around the country.

“American teenagers are being forced into sex trafficking on a daily basis and it’s not about the money in those situations,” said Maria Trujillo with Houston Rescue and Restore. “These are just young girls looking for love, attention, and affection.”

Trujillo says the teenagers are manipulated by so-called “pimps” who force them to work as prostitutes.

“In these horrible situations where they’re turning tricks 10-to-15 Johns a night,” she said.

In Federal Court Tuesday 11 News learned that Davis allegedly met a 16-year-old high school student in Pasadena after she got off her school bus.  Prosecutors say she decided to run away with him.

Davis allegedly took the girl and two others from Texas to New Jersey, New York, Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, and Washington D.C., coercing them into having sex with strangers.

An FBI agent testified that Davis used the Web site EROS.com to advertise their services. It was his way to make money.

Evidence presented in court Tuesday included photographs of his girls and a chalice known to be carried by pimps.

Davis went by the name Sir Lewis and it was engraved into the chalice.

The 16-year-old girl involved in this case is being treated as a victim.

In fact, the task force, which includes the Houston Police Department, says that in the last five years it has rescued more than 100 girls from lives of prostitution.

“Houston is a hub for human trafficking in the United States and we really need to bring awareness to the community about this issue if we ever want to bring an end to modern day slavery,” Trujillo said.

If convicted, Davis could spend the rest of his life in prison.

source: http://www.kens5.com/news/Houston-man-charged-with-sex-trafficking-a-minor-88998167.html

Coalition working to fight human trafficking

Mention the term “human trafficking” to your neighbor and he or she is likely to tell you that no such thing happens around here.

But that isn’t true, says a coalition of Treasure Coast law enforcement agencies and others who have vowed to rescue victims and smoke out the perpetrators who enslave them. Florida is one of the top three destinations for human traffickers in the United States.

According to a 2007 U.S. Department of State report, an estimated 800,000 adults and children are trafficked across international borders yearly. But many more are U. S. citizens who are forced into slavery within the borders of the United States.

The victims are commonly put to work as prostitutes, farm workers and in a variety of low-paying jobs such as domestic work, restaurant work and manual labor. They are lured from their homes with promises of good jobs, but once they arrive at a location, they are told that they are in debt and must pay it off before they can be free.

“We are more likely to see victims here in farm labor, or sex trafficking, and less likely to see victims working in hotels and restaurants like you might find in the Miami area,” said Detective Fred Wilson, a member of the Treasure Coast Human Trafficking Coalition who works at the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

About a year ago at a Soroptimist workshop in Martin County on human trafficking, several groups talked about forming a coalition.

Afterward, Lt. John Silvas of the Martin County Sheriff’s office spearheaded the creation of the Treasure Coast Human Trafficking Coalition. At its first meeting last spring, the group decided to ask a similar coalition in Clearwater for help getting organized. Since then, Treasure Coast members have been networking with other local agencies, both governmental and non-governmental, explaining the problems and asking them to get involved.

In St. Lucie County, the Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie police departments are now part of the coalition. In Martin, Okeechobee, and Indian River counties, the sheriff’s departments are enlisting the aid of other agencies, both inside and outside of law enforcement.

Many times cases cross county and state lines, Wilson said, so setting up networks is essential.

“When we find a victim it can be a huge undertaking in terms of the number of people who can become involved,” he said. “We have to pull the victims out of that life and get them somewhere safe and secure, and get them counseling while we work to find the traffickers.”

The coalition is getting ready to start a public education program to acquaint the general public with the issues and teach people how to recognize possible victims. The members haven’t decided exactly how they are going to do that yet, but they are working on it, Wilson said.

“Many times the victims are very fearful because the traffickers have threatened them and told them that if they say anything, they’ll kill the victim’s family.”

Some of the signs of trafficking include being afraid to talk, appearing to have been coached in what to say, and not being allowed to contact family or friends. Some, but not all, may not be free to go wherever they want to go.

“If people see anything they think looks strange, they can call the anonymous Crimestoppers tips line at

(800) 273-8477 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting   (800) 273-8477      end_of_the_skype_highlighting,

” Wilson said.

 

source: http://www.wptv.com/content/news/indianriver/story/Coalition-working-to-fight-human-trafficking/uuW9WcHcFEC55U1cyVh1dw.cspx

Published in: on March 23, 2010 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sex Trafficking: Local Woman Shares Story

Human Trafficking Bill Debated In Annapolis

It’s not uncommon to see prostitutes working in some Baltimore neighborhoods. But what you don’t see is the person using threats of violence or worse, to keep that woman out on the streets.

Human trafficking is not a felony in Maryland, unless the person being forced to have sex is a minor. Now there’s a new push in Annapolis to strengthen the state’s laws against people who force women to sell sex.

We spoke with a woman who wanted to make it clear that the real victims of human trafficking, are the prostitutes themselves. Angela Jackson worked as a prostitute in Baltimore City for more than a decade.

‘My dad started touching me when I was five,’ she said. ‘And you know, back then they taught you whatever happened in the house stayed in the house.’

She ran away from home at the age of 15. By 20, she was HIV positive, and addicted to heroin. That’s when she started selling her body on the streets of Baltimore. ‘I got into a relationship where the guy, I thought he loved me,’ she said. ‘He only loved me enough for what I could produce and that was more drugs. Which meant that he would put me out there and I didn’t want to be out there.’

But she kept going out there. Very often she says, there were as many as 30 ‘tricks’ a day, for years. ‘Whoever he suggested, I went with. And if I didn’t want to go with them, then I had to do it or suffer the consequences,’ she said.

The so-called boyfriend never suffered any consequences in state courts. If he had been charged with trafficking, which he wasn’t, it would have been a misdemeanor. Bills being debated in Annapolis could change that — advocates for women who work the streets say even they don’t know how big the problem is. ‘By nature of the crime a person might be hidden inside a home in domestic servitude. Or in a brothel having no idea where they can turn to to escape a situation,’ said Karen Stauss of the Polaris Project, which advocates for victims of human trafficking.

Angela Jackson is now married, living with her husband and two daughters in West Baltimore. She’s been off drugs for almost 13 years, and she’s controlling her HIV with medication. She isn’t sure that what’s going on in Annapolis will help with what’s going on on the streets of Baltimore — but at least she says, it’s a start. ‘Are they actually going to fight for us? You know what I mean? Who’s going to actually stand up and fight for us if they already figure it’s a losing battle. (They say) this is a prostitute she’s got a charge record, prostitution up the ying-yang. They don’t understand they don’t understand,’ she said.

Jackson had an older daughter, who was the victim of a murder in Baltimore back in 2008. She says she has always been open with her children about her past — she’s hoping they’ll avoid falling into the lifestyle she did.

Related Links

source: http://www.abc2news.com/news/local/story/Sex-Trafficking-Local-Woman-Shares-Story/vD-tAIayrk-tGN5lP9NoYw.cspx

Vancouver Olympics get an ‘F’ for failing to curb sex trafficking: group

Vancouver Olympic Games organizers have received a failing grade for their efforts to curb sex trafficking into the city, a think-tank announced Tuesday.

The Citizens Summit Against Sex Slavery, a coalition of women’s groups, academics and politicians, gave the Vancouver Olympic organizing committee, the B.C. government and the federal government an “F” for “failing to make sure women and youth are secure against human trafficking during the 2010 Olympics.”

Benjamin Perrin, a law professor at the University of British Columbia specializing in human trafficking, said he knew of “dozens” of young women, mostly from major urban centres and native reserves, who were being sent to Vancouver to deal with an expected surge of tourists seeking prostitutes.

Spikes in prostitution often coincide with mass sporting events, said Perrin. He said the 2004 Summer Games in Athens and 2006 World Cup in Germany are just two recent summits that attracted fleets of sex-trade workers to meet the needs of a typically wealthy, male audience.

“I’m very disappointed to say we were expecting this,” said Perrin, pointing to recommendations his group made in 2007 to the RCMP and VANOC to prevent a surge in human trafficking before the Olympics.

“Fortunately, what is apparent today, is that a number of woman who have been brought to Vancouver for the purpose of being sold for sex during the Games by their traffickers have been rescued,” said Perrin. “How many more out there, who are going to be subject to exploitation, we just don’t know.”

Many of these cases, Perrin said, are abetted by the popularity of online classified websites, such as Craigslist, that feature “erotic services” listings.

The listings are anonymous, helping travellers from around the world set up appointments with prostitutes before they set foot in Vancouver.

In the U.S., customers must provide credit card information before responding to a post. However, that’s not the case in Canada, allowing a “virtual sex slave market to flourish outside the reach of police and intelligence services,” a release from the summit said.

Vancouver police aren’t planning any crackdown on prostitution during the Games, said Const. Lindsey Houghton.

“Street-related prostitution existed before the Games, it will exist during the Games and it will exist after,” Houghton said. “Our enforcement around that will not be any different. We have a dedicated vice unit that works very closely with the girls and the guys . . . to ensure that they are safe.”

source: http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/2010wintergames/sports/2010wintergames/Vancouver+Olympics+failing+curb+trafficking+group/2542883/story.html