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

Child sex slavery rages in Las Vegas

Officials turn blind eye to massage parlors hiding prostitution

As college students embark upon a new fall semester at UNLV, lawmakers and appointed government officials sit tight, knowing that the glitz of the Boulevard will provide distraction enough to hide Las Vegas’ darkest secret.
Six billion dollars. 1,496. 41 percent.

Respectively, those numbers represent the following: the estimated net yearly worth of Las Vegas’ prostitution industry, the number of domestic child sex traffic victims reported between January 1994 and July 2007 in our city and the percentage of those minors reporting past sexual assault.

Disturbed? It gets worse. Shared Hope International, a non-profit organization combating human trafficking, revealed that the average age of child prostitution in Las Vegas is 12 to 14 years old.

These numbers merely reflect domestic-born victims, not taking into account the thousands of innocent young women kidnapped or coerced in the nations of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Russia, the Philippines and others, who are smuggled into the U.S. and forced to become prostitutes.

While figures regarding international victims are unavailable, one need look no farther than the massage parlors that inhabit numerous shopping centers.

With names like “Oriental Angels Massage,” customers fully expect — and receive — a so-called happy ending. Propped up by casinos, these shops litter the streets of Las Vegas and provide sexual services for money, keeping casino high rollers within city limits (instead of other counties’ legalized brothels) and fueling an influx of child sex slaves from both the U.S. and the Third World.

Who allows this repulsiveness to continue? The State of Nevada Board of Massage Therapy.

Chaired by Billie Shea, the eight commissioners appointed by the acting governor are counted upon to approve or deny massage licenses, as well as investigate malpractices and wrongdoing. This board continues to issue certifications for businesses that offer illegal services.

Local lawmakers also do their part to push child sex trafficking issues under the table. Recently, Oriental Angels Massage was shut down by the Las Vegas City Council. Don’t consider it a victory, though. The closure was ordered only after five incidents of soliciting prostitution between 2008 and 2010.

Five? Was one or two not enough? In order to show they “mean business” when it comes to trafficking and prostitution, the city also slapped the parlor’s owner with a $50,000 fine.

But the Council’s vote on that fine barely passed with a 4-3 margin. Who were the three members of the council that voted against the fine?
Councilmen Steve Wolfson and Ricki Barlow, and our esteemed mayor, Oscar Goodman. I’m hoping Steve and Ricki really meant it when they cried that $50,000 was simply “too much.” However, Oscar is a different story.

He makes no apologies for being a former mob lawyer and persists in his glorified corruption by backhandedly baptizing child sex slavery.

In a 2007 New York Times op-ed, writer Bob Herbert blasted Nevada for its thriving sex trade and detailed the story of a 14 year-old girl in Las Vegas whose drug problem may havebeen her simplest issue.

The girl was undernourished, suffering from a sexually transmitted disease and was carrying a seven-month-old child fathered by her pimp.

Within the same article, Dr. Melissa Farley, founder of Prostitution Research & Education, commented that Las Vegas stands as the “epicenter of North American prostitution and sex trafficking.”

How did Goodman respond to Herbert’s thought-provoking article? By threatening his life. “I have no use for him. I’ll take a baseball bat and break his head if he ever comes here,” Goodman said.

Governor Jim Gibbons fits right in with the vileness of Shea and Goodman. Albeit our governor does deserve some credit for signing a bill that increases sex trafficking penalties.

But Gibbons appointed the Nevada Board of Massage Therapy that appeases the sex trade industry. Furthermore, on Gibbons’ watch, Nevada continues to rank in the second-to-bottom tier of Human Trafficking State Ratings, released annually by the Polaris Project.

Some advancements have been made in the fight against child sex slavery. An FBI Human Trafficking Task Force was created in November of 2008.
Organizations like Shared Hope International and The Shade Tree Shelter operate to uncover child trafficking incidents as well as rehabilitate victims.

And local NBC-affiliate My News 3’s Hetty Chang has been a community leader in investigating and reporting Las Vegas’ trafficking atrocities, while also uniting the Asian-American community in opposition.

Despite these bright spots, the battle has only begun. Shared Hope International’s comprehensive report, “Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in Las Vegas, Nevada,” sheds light on the plethora of remaining issues.

For starters, state laws must be changed to treat child sex slaves as victims, rather than as juvenile offenders. (This current law enforcement mentality discourages victims from seeking refuge.) Increased resources must be provided for the psychological recovery, education, protection and health services of victims.

Finally, facilitators across the board must be prosecuted — from the taxi drivers who produce massage parlor patrons in exchange for tips to the international traffickers, local pimps and even the sex-seeking customers themselves.

One more thing: Changing the leadership of Las Vegas and Nevada could help.

What can you do to fight child sex slavery?
1) Volunteer or join a local chapter of a non-profit like Shared Hope International (sharedhope.org), the Polaris Project (polarisproject.org) or Not For Sale (notforsalecampaign.org).

2) Write or email your city council and state representatives to express your outrage regarding this issue. You would be surprised at how much these messages are taken into account.

3) Tell a friend. Tell your parents. Tell your professors and the randoms on campus. Lack of public awareness is the biggest obstacle to changing the current system.

source:http://unlvrebelyell.com/2010/08/23/child-sex-slavery-rages-in-las-vegas/

Beaten and sold

Small-town women were lured into sex slavery by their neighbors, four smooth-talking men led by a soldier who promised fun times in the big city.

Robert Harris II
Robert Harris II

Jacob Tyler

Jacob Tyler

Richard Johnson II

Ross County Sheriff
Richard Johnson II

The conspiracy to enslave and sell women for sex began at the Matchbox, a hard-edged tavern wedged against the railroad tracks along S. Washington Street in Circleville.

Army Spc. Craig Allen Corey II was on leave back home in Chillicothe. Over beers at the Circleville bar, he talked to a pair of childhood buddies about his plan to pad his soldier’s wages. And there would be good money in it for them, too.

Corey had been a customer of illicit massage services advertised on the Internet, and he proposed to do the same out of his apartment more than 300 miles away in Millersville, Md., near his post as a supply specialist at Fort Meade. With some risque photos of the offerings and some explicit erotic-services listings on craigslist, Corey calculated he could pocket $150,000 a year on top of his drug-dealing income.

That night in late 2008 in Circleville marked the origin of Corey as “Pimp C.” His drinking mates – Jacob Tyler and Robert “Little Rob” Harris II – would act as enforcers to keep the women and johns in line while he played Army. The men added another hometown friend and drug dealer – Richard “Little Richy”Johnson II – to the operation and set out to stock their brothel.

The young men did most of their shopping for women – both willing and not – on the turf where they already peddled drugs: Chillicothe.

Human trafficking, mostly associated with big cities, suddenly had come to small-city Appalachia, about 45 miles south of Columbus. Corey and his gang would travel regularly from Maryland to Chillicothe to obtain and sell drugs and, as he told an acquaintance, “recruit some bitches.”

Corey also used MySpace, YouTube and Web ads to recruit a few women from Virginia, and he imported a woman from Watertown, N.Y., where he once was stationed at Fort Drum. But most of the women – and a 16-year-old girl – came from Chillicothe and surrounding Ross County.

“I don’t think any area is immune,” said William Winter, special agent in charge of the Baltimore office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which built a case against the men that sent them to prison for a combined 57 years. “A lot of the women had not traveled much and were low on the socio-economic scale. They were ripe to be exploited by someone with strong personalities like these guys.

“They would recruit these women by saying … ‘Come to the big city of Baltimore and bring your friends. Come party with us,’ basically. ‘We have a lot of money,’” Winter said.

Nearly nude photos of the women soon were posted on craigslist, with rates of up to $200 an hour “for modeling, role-playing, sensual body rub, personal assistance and private dancing.” A disclaimer added: “I do not offer illegal or immoral services.”

The operation was short-lived, spanning January to April 2009, before it was busted after “Holly” – a 28-year-old Chillicothe woman – accepted $100 for her services from an undercover cop.

But during those four months, beatings, threats and drugs underlined the coercion and control in play in Millersville, an unincorporated area of populous Anne Arundel County south of Baltimore.

The women, who numbered at least 12 over the weeks, were plied with free drugs of their choice to keep working and, once their addictions were rooted, forced to pay for their fixes by handing over their share of earnings.

Women who balked at serving sex customers or attempted to withhold cash paid by the johns would be beaten and threatened with more violence. Tyler and Harris had guns and were not shy about flashing them.

Harris threatened a customer with a gun at one point, and he and Tyler talked of shooting a particularly troublesome woman.

The 16-year-old was ferried from Chillicothe by Corey and his fiancee under the pretext of partying. Then, she was forced to have sex with three men who had responded to an Internet ad from “Vanilla.” She arrived only a few days before the operation was busted.

With little money, no transportation and total reliance on their captors for food and shelter, the women had nowhere to turn.

With thousands of dollars a week coming in, the guys from Chillicothe were living large, buying electronics, clothes, jewelry and car accessories. Harris added gold teeth.

The first sign of what was unfolding in the middle-class apartment complex along Millwright Court in Millersville came in the first month.

A 19-year-old woman called her parents in January, saying her car had been disabled and she couldn’t leave. Her parents recruited police to retrieve her. Tyler had beaten her, but she refused to tell police what had happened.

It wasn’t long before the craigslist ads – offering “companionship” at the price of $80 for 15 minutes – caught the attention of Anne Arundel County authorities. On April 24, 2009, an undercover officer bought a quick date with “Holly.”

Police also found the 16-year-old, drugs and a gun in the apartment. “Holly” was charged with prostitution. Corey was charged with human trafficking. Johnson and an 18-year-old woman from Chillicothe were charged with drug possession.

Because a minor child had been imported across state lines for prostitution, local police turned the case over to ICE, and federal agents visited Chillicothe to help build their case and track down and interview the women who had returned home.

On Sept. 29, the men were arrested on a multitude of federal charges that included sex trafficking by force, sex trafficking of a minor, interstate transportation for prostitution, drug trafficking and conspiracy.

Even after Corey was busted, he continued dealing drugs, traveling to Detroit to buy drugs that were then sold on the streets in both Maryland and Chillicothe. He also sold to an undercover officer.

Of the four sex traffickers, the ringleader perhaps was the most unlikely suspect. Corey had only minor scrapes with the law in Chillicothe and had graduated from high school in 2005. He seemingly had a good Army record, with the exception of getting a female solider pregnant and then denying he was the father. He was discharged after his arrest.

Tyler has had more than 30 misdemeanor arrests in Chillicothe and had done prison time for theft and receiving stolen property. He still has a case pending against him in an armed home-invasion robbery in Chillicothe on March 22, 2009.

Johnson’s criminal record was small-time, but he had become a proficient drug dealer. He bought crack, powdered cocaine and heroin from suppliers in Columbus and from Corey’s supplier in Detroit.

Harris is a castaway from a shattered Columbus home. In 1994, when Harris was 6, his mother died from a stray bullet fired by a gunman outside a Near East Side bar. He was raised by a relative in Chillicothe, where he dropped out of high school and began dealing drugs.

“We had no idea they were running as a group,” said Chillicothe Police Chief Roger Moore. “We knew they all were troubled youths. We had looked at them all over time for drug trafficking. … This has been shocking to the community.”

Recently, in a small house on Mulberry Street in Chillicothe, 17-month-old Robert C. Harris IV scampered around his grandmother’s toy-strewn living room, finally selecting a black-and-white police car as the moment’s plaything.

The littlest Harris last saw his father at his sentencing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on April 28 this year. Even then, they were not allowed to touch.

With all but Tyler facing the possibility of life in prison, the men signed plea arrangements. Corey, 23, will serve 171/2 years. Tyler, 23, and Harris, 21, each received 15-year terms. Johnson, 23, was sentenced to 10 years.

“Robbie will be 13 before his dad is ever out of prison,” said Tabitha White, 20, the child’s mother and the elder Harris’ fiancee. “I don’t think what he did deserved 15 years. I’m not saying he’s innocent, but 15 years?”

White described Corey as a “cocky and arrogant” type who easily recruited Harris into his scheme.

“Robbie’s a follower,” added Tabitha’s mother, Teresa White. “He’d do anything for you.”

Teresa White, whom Harris calls “mom,” doesn’t buy that the women exported to Maryland were held against their will.

“There’s prostitution everywhere. It was all blown out of proportion,” she said.

“All those boys had been friends for years. I told Robbie he needed to start dealing with himself and warned him to stay away from those guys. They were trouble.”

Information for this story came from court and police documents and interviews with local and federal officials, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who investigated the case.

source:http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/05/23/beaten-and-sold.html?sid=101

Teen Sold as Sex Slave on Craigslist

Experts say 100,000 children in the U.S. are sold for sex every day.

According to Congressional estimates, every day in our country 100,000 children are being sold for sex. Enterprising pimps prey on young girls, and turn them into sex slaves.

But it was at a neighborhood Safeway store in northern California where the sex slave problem became a terrible reality for one family. In 2008 Vicki Zito’s daughter was abducted there, then forced into unthinkable acts.

Vicki’s daughter was a 17-year old high school senior at the time, but developmentally disabled. She had asked her mom if she could go down to the store with a friend.

“And so we said yeah, okay, go grab a soda,” Vicki recalls. “How innocent is that? And it’s the one decision that I’ll regret for the rest of my life,” Vicki says, tears welling up in her eyes.

Vicki’s daughter was abducted by a man who sold her for sex by posting ads for ‘erotic services’ on the web site Craigslist. She was enslaved for seven days in motels around the Bay Area.

At home, Vicki prayed. “Once the sun went down it was unbearable,” Vicki says, sobbing quietly. “I’m sorry, but it was. It was horrible. I would just stand at the window, watching, waiting, wanting so badly for her to come home.”

After a week, Vicki got a late-night call from authorities. “They told me they’d found my daughter. And that she was alive. And in that brief moment of , ‘Oh my god my daughter’s alive, she’s okay,’ it was followed with ‘But I’m sorry to tell you… Are you sitting down?’”

Authorities told Vicki that her daughter had been sold for sex, over and over again.

“It was more than I could bear,” Vicki says. “That’s when I learned about sex trafficking, what it was, and what it meant that my daughter had been enduring for the past seven days.”

Ultimately her abductor, 25 year-old Rishi Sanwal, was arrested and convicted. He’s serving a 12 year sentence for sex trafficking.

About Sanwal, Zito says, “I don’t waste a lot of time on him. Do I believe in hell? Yes I believe in hell. Do I hope some day he burns in it? That’s harsh…but yes. Because he can do his time in prison, but he’ll never be able to undo what he did to my daughter.”

Vicki also has a few choice words for Craigslist, the web site that posted Sanwal’s ads for ‘erotic services.’

“Pull the plug. Now. Pull the plug,” Zito says. “Do you have to have the erotic section of your web site to be profitable? Or in order to stay in business? Because if that’s what it takes for you to stay in business? You shouldn’t be in business.”

Zito thinks some major changes need to be made regarding online postings. “It’s absolutely unacceptable that you have a spot on your web site where somebody can go, and at the click of a button, buy another human being for sex.”

The Zito family’s story has come to the attention of California Against Slavery, a non-profit group actively lobbying to strengthen anti-sex slave laws in California. Its executive director Daphne Fung says the Zitos’ family tragedy serves as a cautionary tale.

“The Zitos’ story shows that no child is safe from human trafficking, that it can happen to any of us,” Fung says. “Vicki is a caring mom, her daughter comes from a caring family, and it happened to them,” Fung points out. “No child is safe from human trafficking.”

And according to Fung, the problem is getting worse across the country. “Now, they’re going down in age from 18, 16, 14, now we have girls started being recruited as prostitutes at the age of 11, 12 13.”

As a result, today Vicki Zito is on a mission to speak out so that no other family will have to endure the horror that her family, and her daughter, have faced.

“The reason I speak out is that 95 percent of the girls that are victims of this crime, exactly like my daughter was, have no home, no mom, no family, nobody that’s looking for them,” Zito says.

“If just one other life is spared, if just one other life is able to heal and recover and move on from this, then all of my efforts will be worth it.”

For more about the efforts of California Against Slavery to strengthen California’s anti-human trafficking laws, and its signature-gathering petition efforts for a statewide ballot initiative, go to http://www.californiaagainstslavery.org/.

source: http://www.ktla.com/news/extras/ktla-sex-slaves-sweeps,0,3561067.story

Published in: on May 11, 2010 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Demi Moore: Child Sex Trafficking Is a Dirty Secret We Need to Confront

Earlier this year, actress Demi Moore and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, started the DNA (The Demi and Ashton) Foundation, which aims to eliminate child slavery worldwide. Shortly afterward, as part of the Pepsi Refresh Celebrity Challenge, she and Kevin Bacon battled to see who could get more fans to vote for them and their philanthropic causes. Moore triumphed, and as a result, the New York City-based nonprofit organization GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) won a $250,000 grant from Pepsi. GEMS plans to use the funds to train 10 former victims to serve as outreach workers who will assist and rescue underage girls currently in the sex industry. PARADE spoke to Moore about why this issue is so important to her and what she would like Americans to know about sex trafficking.

PARADE: How did you first become interested in this topic?

MOORE: Ashton and I got involved after seeing a TV special about sex trafficking in Cambodia around two years ago. Some of the girls in it were so young, like 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 years old. We felt we couldn’t live in the world where that is allowed. As we started to delve into and educate ourselves on the issue, we were overwhelmed and horrified to discover how prevalent trafficking is. As we looked around, we saw we had a chance to contribute and make a difference. Twenty-seven million people are enslaved today around the world. We’ve tried to scale back our efforts to what connected us in the first place, which was children and sex slaves. Yet our ultimate goal is to participate in bringing an end to slavery as a whole. I don’t think any parent can watch that special and see these tiny little girls going up to men, girls who have Barbie lunch boxes. It’s just wrong, and I think it’s something we can all agree on. It needs to be stopped. It’s a matter of getting in there and getting the support to end it.

We were shocked by how large the commercial sex industry is in America. The average age that a girl enters the industry is 12 to 14. As a mother, I have to say, “Let’s put this in perspective, this is someone’s sister, someone’s daughter. It’s a little girl.” There’s a general misperception that people have about the girls in the industry, that these girls are choosing it. Enslavement is not just physical but also mental manipulation. We’re talking about people preying upon the most vulnerable among us—our children. I’ve met foreign victims who were brought in from Mexico to the United States. Ashton and I have plans to travel and connect with more. I’ve had the opportunity to meet [Cambodian activist] Somaly Mam quite a few times.

Q: What is your connection to GEMS?

A: We went to GEMS offices and met quite a few of these girls and heard their stories. One of them was 11, another was 13, one had been “guerilla” pimped by a trafficker who was traveling the country with underage girls. He was caught by the FBI. What was so moving is that in our country, except in the state of New York where the Safe Harbor Act was passed and it treats underage girls as victims of rape as opposed to teen prostitutes, the law tends to criminalize these girls. Meanwhile, the johns and pimps often get minimal penalties. A pimp can make $150,000 to $200,000 a year from one girl. How can we shift the focus from the criminalization of these girls and place a greater focus on who is creating the demand? The men who are soliciting them look at these girls as having chosen the industry even though they’re 12 or 20. The average john is a 30-year-old married man with no criminal record. We’d like to humanize the victims and also bring names and faces to the johns. I think if we had greater accountability, we’d have a chance of reducing the demand for young prostitutes.

Read More about GEMS: Guiding Young Girls to Better Lives

Q: How did you hear about GEMS?

A: Once you start to open the door, you find the organizations and the NGOs that are making a difference, and we heard about Rachel Lloyd and GEMS. It’s a survivor-led organization and the largest organization for victims that exists in the U.S. I had a chance to see what they’re trying to do, and their model is one that can be replicated in the country. Right now, they have a limited outreach. GEMS makes such a huge difference, transforming the girls they reach into positive and productive individuals who give back. Yet they struggle to have the funds to operate.

GEMS is trying to assist juveniles who are extracted from sex industry. They’re helping them getting high-school diplomas if they don’t have them and going to college. I love the fact that GEMS also trains the girls it rescues from sex trafficking to serve as outreach workers in their communities. One outreach worker can reach 100 girls. The former victims have a level of understanding in reaching out to girls who are not open and under control of pimps, and they’re able to break through that. They often go into the juvenile-justice system to find girls to help, because where do you put them, except for justice system or foster care?

Q: Are you concerned with working against sex trafficking on a domestic or on a worldwide level?

A: We have a worldwide interest in sex trafficking, but for now we want to ground it domestically. We went down with the Department of Homeland Security to the border at San Diego and met some victims who had the enormous courage to testify against their trafficker. The girls were 19 and 20, and they’d been smuggled over the border. Trafficking was a family business, and this man’s mother and brother were also involved. The trafficker told these girls he loved them and said, “If you love me, you will do this for me.”

We want to put the issue of sex trafficking at the top of people’s lists of concerns and not just part of the list. One of the things we’re trying to do is to work on changing policy in the states where trafficking is not a felony. We approached the Governor of Massachusetts and asked him why human trafficking there is not a felony under state law there. That’s also true in Hawaii, Alabama, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C, I think.

Photos: See More Celebrities Who Help Children

Q: What would you like PARADE readers to do?

A: People should see “Playground.” It’s a wonderful documentary about children in America who are victims of sex slavery. In general, I’d like to ask them to educate themselves about the issue. Awareness is the beginning of creating great change. Our society needs to identify slavery and call it what it is and look at it in the U.S. People should also find out, what laws and programs do you have place in your state to protect girls? Is there a task force? The issue is understaffed and underfunded.

When one person is enslaved, we’re all enslaved. We’ve been tweeting to the Senators on the foreign relations committee to ask them to support change. Sex trafficking is this dirty little secret, but I think people are now prepared to hear about it. It’s our obligation to come together and end slavery. Before I end this interview, I want to thank Pepsi. Not only did it support us with our issue, the company provided an opportunity for us in the form of the Pepsi Refresh Celebrity Challenge to go out and get the public to vote on our idea. We won a huge grant for GEMS. Pepsi is affecting change and helping us reach an incredible audience.

Get Inspired: Read More on What America Cares About

source:http://www.parade.com/news/what-america-cares-about/featured/100509-demi-moore-interview.html

Shake Your Moneymaker: Students teach dance exercise to save sex slaves

Free music, food and Zumba — these are not t.hree things that remind anyone of human trafficking, but for one University organization, these are the components to raising money and awareness to set Indian sex slaves free.

Students raise money with an aerobic fitness class called Zumba Wednesday evening on the Myers Quad.

International Justice Mission held a Zumba class on Myers Quad Wednesday  evening and is planning to host another April 1.

Although participants can enjoy the class, food and door prizes at no charge, donations are strongly encouraged.

IJM also raises some funds through the T-shirts the group puts up for sell at its events.

“Our chapter raises money to support IJM and raise awareness about the injustices IJM fights,” said Kerri Graves, the organization’s president.

IJM is a faith-based organization that raises money and then sends investigators, lawyers and social workers to help people all over the world who are enslaved by sex trafficking, bonded labor, illegal land seizure and wrongful imprisonment.

Not only do these workers try to set captives free, but they also work with local governments in an attempt to help stop these crimes.

The University’s chapter  of IJM hosts a number of events, including art showings, documentary viewings, clothing drives and rallies. They also hold meetings every other week to increase local understanding.

These events are designed to shock and inform attendants. IJM participants give startling statistics, such as that there are more enslaved people throughout the world today than there were during the entire Atlantic slave trade.

This one fact moved Elyssa Schroeder, IJM’s publicity coordinator, to become more involved.

Schroeder said working with IJM is a way to learn about the importance of “justice and the oppressed and literally freeing slaves across the world in things we do in our local community.”

Students wanting to get more involved can do so by participating in events such as next Thursday’s free Zumba class, attending the bi-monthly meetings in room 275 of the Miller Learning Center or by checking out IJM’s Web site at ugaijm.com.



source: http://www.redandblack.com/2010/03/25/shake-your-moneymaker-students-teach-dance-exercise-to-save-sex-slaves/

Published in: on March 26, 2010 at 8:23 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Sex trafficking: Good guys get to work on shelters and solutions

I feel like ordering a collection of capes and passing them out to all the people I’m meeting who are doing something to fight the sex trafficking of minors.

Because what you can’t say today about our nation’s problem with human trafficking is this: How come no one is doing anything about it?

You used to be able to say that — and for legitimate reasons. People with all the superhero qualities in the world had no idea sex trafficking was a pervasive problem in Portland. We thought it was a problem in far-off places where our reach was limited — or that sex slaves were trickling in from other countries. But in 2006, a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice and written by Shared Hope International of Vancouver, surprised a lot of people, revealing that people who are traded for sex within our borders are most often U.S.-born.

Villains are usually ahead of the game. And criminals have figured out there is an ample supply of young girls and boys to victimize in our country — children from broken homes, in foster care, in poverty and young girls who simply believe the promises of a pimp posing as a loving, caring boyfriend.

The bad guys have gotten away with this long enough that tens of thousands of American children are involved in the commercial sex industry.

While the government lacks comprehensive research to determine the number of victims, the Justice Department says the average age of entry into prostitution is now 13. It estimates that nearly 300,000 American youth are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation. And Portland is a human-trafficking hotspot.

That’s the bad news.

Back to the superheroes: When people learn children are lured into commercial sex by pimps posing as boyfriends and prostituted at truck stops just down the road, they want to help.

Nola Brantley, a survivor of sexual slavery who runs a program for sexually exploited youth in California, spoke Wednesday at an awareness event put on by the Not for Sale campaign on the Portland State University campus. In her talk, Brantley applauded Oregonians’ passionate response to sex trafficking.

She’s right. There’s a lot happening here. In addition to Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans, the Oregon Human Trafficking Task Force and Shared Hope International, legislators in Oregon and Washington passed laws this session to increase awareness of sex trafficking and publicize a national hot line that people can call if they need help or suspect wrongdoing.

The Washington Legislature is heading where Oregon needs to go with a bill to establish tougher penalties for buyers and traffickers and raising money for crisis shelters and intervention programs. The bill also would require authorities to consider noncriminal alternatives for some children arrested for prostitution.

Both states need to end the practice of arresting minors for prostitution and treat juveniles involved in sex trafficking as victims rather than criminals. But to do that, we need places for victims to recover, safe from predators.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is trying to help on that front, pushing federal legislation that would authorize block grants to create comprehensive programs to help sex-trafficking victims in six different U.S. locations.

Proving you don’t have to wait for the world to change, you can be a part of the change, Lexie Woodward organized Wednesday’s Not for Sale event. An estimated 180 people attended. “I’m really excited about the turnout,” the PSU student said, noting that it wasn’t an all-student crowd. “This will help get the word out that slavery never ended, it just evolved.”

Another student raising awareness is Lara Lucero. The Clark County high-schooler is organizing a fundraiser in May called the “Stuck in Traffic Run.”

A Clark County man who works in Portland is planning a motorcycle rally this summer that will go from truck stop to truck stop, with riders handing out information about sex trafficking along the Interstate 5 corridor. As a father of three daughters and girls’ volleyball coach, he wants a wave of men to stand up and say, “We’re not going to tolerate this,” he said. “Men created the demand, and I really believe men have to help stop it.”

Luke Armstrong, representing the Institute of Trafficked, Exploited and Missing Persons, an international nonprofit, also spoke Wednesday at PSU. He reminded people of small but meaningful ways to prevent modern-day slavery.

You don’t have to go head-to-head with a pimp or rescue minors from hotel rooms. You can donate, become a mentor to at-risk youth, find ways to help meet the needs of families in poverty and combat the conditions that make children vulnerable to sexual exploitation in the first place.

Everyone can play a part. It’s a good thing capes come one-size-fits-all.

For educational purposes only

source: http://www.oregonlive.com/hovde/index.ssf/2010/02/sex_trafficking_good_guys_get.html

“ABDUCTED GIRL”, an American sex slave

First trailers now online for Ryan’s new film “ABDUCTED GIRL: AN AMERICAN SEX SLAVE”

Three teaser trailers have been released for the upcoming film “ABDUCTED GIRL: AN AMERICAN SEX SLAVE” set to hit theatres sometime in 2010 for a limited run.

Director Shane Ryan was attacked by the media a few weeks ago when he announced production, and was accused of making a Jaycee Dugard porn film. “I think an 8 year can clearly see it’s not a porn movie”, says Ryan, “nor are we making Jaycee Dugard’s actual story and I’m very sorry she heard about it that way” (Lindsay Lohan announced just days later that she would like to play Jaycee in a film).

In March of 2009 (months before Jaycee’s discovery) Ryan said that he would be making a sex trafficking film and admitted after hearing about Jaycee and her 18 years of living in captivity that he was merely inspired, like any story teller, filmmaker or media, would be. He wanted to tell a similar situation. Ryan often tackles sexual subject matters in his films, whether it’s rape, incest or pedophilia because “it scares the hell of out me and I don’t understand why it happens. Sex slavery being the creepiest thing yet.” His last film “WARNINGgirl victim!!! PEDOPHILE RELEASED”, about the girl victim of an accused pedophile and her 6 year wait for him to be released from prison, hit DVD last December.

Trailer : http://vimeo.com/7814773

Source : Alter Ego Cinema

So my mother knows I’m alive

The book sex slaves: the trafficking of women in asia, by louise brown, is written in a tone that often mirrors my own inner sarcastic voice when i talk about trafficking, so of course i liked it. though most of her information is drawn from assumptions and interviews instead of facts, i’ve come to learn that hearsay is almost all you have to go on when you’re trying to understand trafficking. there are very few hard facts when you’re trying to measure a shadowy, illegal activity that preys on a vulnerable and invisibe population that is not registered, doesn’t pay taxes and have simply disappeared from their lives in which no one accounts for them anyway.

Brown explains the asian sex trade and the cultural norms that keep the asian sex market so secret and taboo. while much attention is paid to foreign male customers (and surely their money sets standards and drives the economy), the majority of trafficking is driven by asian men. this book explains the region i live in and i’ve found it to be highly accurate in at least describing the mentality of many thai’s i have met. she estimates that 70% of thai males have visited or currently visit brothels. as many as 1/3 of northern thai households have a daughter, sister, or mother working in the sex trade:

“In northern thailand whole communities are sustained by the prostitution of daughters. this is not part of the sub-culture of an underclass but is a major feature of normal society in many villages. it involves the police, the schools, the temples and village leaders. it is part of the power structure… sompop jantraka of the daughter’s education programme estimates that in many of the villages one third of families have daugthers in prostitution. no one speaks about this because everyone benefits: families can build nice houses and offset the losses from unsustainable farms, and priests do not condemn the money that sex workers give as donations to build temples and do meritorious works. just like anywhere else, the people with power in northern thailand’s villages are the people with money. unfortunately, anyone with money here almost inevtiably has links to the sex industry because there is so little opportunity to earn money in any other sector. finance from the sex trade creates, legitimises and reinforces a power structure that tells young women that prostitution is the only way to escape poverty.”

It drives me crazy that so much of the sex industry is so hidden and culturally protected, but knowing what louise brown knows goes a long way in keeping me informed and hopefully more equipped to help. definitely recommend the book.

source: http://congraced.blogspot.com/2010/01/sex-slaves.html

Group sets goal to free six child slaves

A group of CCCHS students gathered Monday morning to do something about child slavery and set a goal to raise enough to free six child slaves.

The students have put on red tags that say “SOLD” on their back packs to represent that one out of twelve children in the world is either working as a labor slave or has been sold into slavery as a sex slave. They’ve also started collecting money at cans placed at the school’s English classes and are selling T-shirts for $10.

“We got you out of class today because a group of us believe we can change the world,” Krista Wiss told a bunch of high school students Monday.

That group of students attended a seminar in Tennessee that talked about sex trafficking and child labor, Wiss said. That inspired them to get on board with Loose Change to Loosen Chains, an umbrella organization that’s part of the International Justice Mission.

“We wanted to get involved and help those who can’t help themselves,” said Brielle Lund, part of the group that attended the seminar.

Slavery just isn’t an overseas issue, but one that’s closer to home than you think, Wiss said. Human trafficking occurs at brothels in New Orleans and as close as Wichita, she said.

“Girls as young as 5, their families sell them into slavery to pay their bills,” Wiss said. “Little kids — think about when you were a little kid, did you watch Tom and Jerry and get on the couch and eat your cereal? These little kids don’t get to do that. They work seven days a week dawn to night, so they don’t do anything.”

There are more slaves in the world today than there ever were, 27 million of them, Morgan Bradford said, although slavery is not all that common in the US, so Americans tend not to think much about it, she said.

“Us Americans have a big influence on the rest of the world,” Bradford said. “Just because we don’t know about slavery doesn’t mean we can’t do something about it.”
The average age of prostitution is 10-14, the students said.

“Think about that,” Bradford said, “middle schoolers being forced to have sex with people.

The price of freedom is about $500 for the paperwork and support service needed to free a labor slave and twice that much for a sex slave. The students have set a goal to free four labor slaves and two sex slaves, for which they will need $4,000.

The students are working with a few church groups on this effort, including the youth group at Evangelical Covenant Church.


source: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20402137&BRD=1160&PAG=461&dept_id=190958&rfi=6

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