Super Bowl Leads to Sex Trafficking Increase
Police says demand for teen sex slaves increase for big events
Last year the police in Miami were on the look out for sex traffickers bringing young kids into town for big spender clients. With the Super Bowl taking place in Indianapolis on Sunday, authorities are warning local police to be on the look out for underage prostitutes and the people who bring them in.
The Sun-Sentinel reports:
"Kids do get trafficked into high profile areas where there are major sporting events, major music events or even the Academy Awards...because of the crowds that come in and the money involved," said John V. Gillies, FBI special agent in charge in Miami. "I'm not going to tell you there are tens of thousands of children trafficked into these areas. But there are enough that if we can save just one, it makes a huge difference."
Since 2003, more than 1,900 child sex trade victims have been rescued in the U.S., Gillies said. In South Florida, the FBI has 31 open cases where children were victims of sex trafficking, he said.
Gillies along with Lamberti and Carmen Pino, of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, spoke Thursday to Broward County business leaders to raise awareness about trafficking, both in child sex and illegal labor.
In 2010, when the Super Bowl was played in South Florida, a multi-agency task force arrested a Hawaiian man at a Miami Beach hotel after he brought a minor to engage in prostitution, among other charges. He was later sentenced for 21 years.
Pino said part of raising awareness about the crime is to explain the difference between the sex trade and trafficking.
"A 13-year-old is not a willing participant in prostitution," said Pino. "That's a victim."