Posted by: Tim Swarens Friday, February 19, Marilyn Moores pauses as we pore over a thick stack of court records. The files document the sale of girls, as young as 15, for sex.
The child, still in eighth grade, soon crossed paths with a man and a woman who lured her to a hotel room. But she was forced into submission. Men continued to show up at the hotel room, night after night, for nearly a week, until finally her mother was able to find her and secure her freedom.
The pair accused of selling the girl have been charged with a string of felonies, including trafficking of a minor. They are awaiting trial. Stop to think about this ugliness: was exploited by adults in the worst of ways. Sold for sex.
Against her will. To a string of men, fixated on their own desires, no matter the harm they inflicted. Judge Moores has piled atop a table records from 16 similar cases, each heard in her Indianapolis courtroom in the past year, each documenting the prostitution of children. Some carry bruises and choke marks, inflicted by customers and pimps. Some bear Taser marks, punishment for breaking rules set by those who have exploited them.
One girl, held in a room for days, collapsed from malnourishment as she walked into the treatment center. They work nonstop, and they have to be in a constant state of awareness for survival. Jessup, chief operating officer of a Carmel-based ministry called Ascenthelps coordinate teams of therapists, doctors, social workers and educators to deliver comfort and healing in the aftermath of soul-crushing trauma. George Hurd, chief operating officer of Behavioral Health at Lutherwood, told me he was initially skeptical about how many girls would need such services.
But the of girls, and their special needs, forced a Jessup escort classified in plans. The program works with girls ages 12 to 18, but Jessup said most are 14 to 16 years old. Ascent assisted another 11 survivors of trafficking in community-based programs. One of them was a year-old former Ben Davis High School student taken into custody in December at an Indianapolis hotel after an undercover police officer responded to an online advertisement featuring the girl. In the past, the girl likely would have been arrested and sent to the juvenile detention center. Instead, police called Family and Social Services to report her as a victim of human trafficking.
A state case manager, dispatched to interview the girl at the hotel, found that she had run away from home a month earlier, and, under the direction of an adult, had been advertising herself online for two weeks. The victims almost invariably are runaways, in many cases fleeing deep dysfunction and abuse at home. I asked Judge Moores and others: What about boys who are on the streets?
The consensus is that boys almost certainly are victims of trafficking, but the cases, for whatever reason, are not being identified locally. They know the kids are looking for those things, and they provide them to build relationships. Over coffee on a cold January morning, Abby Kuzma explains how the business of selling sex works in the digital age. Back officials now insist that are monitored to prevent child trafficking.
A runaway, the girl told a state caseworker that she stayed with older men whom she met on Facebook. One of those men was a predator.
According to court records, the man forced the girl to post on Back, forced her to charge men for sex, then took the money she was paid. She was later passed on to other men who also used Back to prostitute her. After an arrest for public intoxication last year, the girl reported that while working as a prostitute, she had been beaten and sexually assaulted, and at one point, a gun was held to her head.
A psychological evaluation determined that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. She represents only one commercial sex ad on Back. At Lutherwood, I asked Jessup and Hurd an admittedly naive question: Who buys a year-old girl for sex? Do men specifically want girls that young? He later asked her to help him find a younger .
Purchased invests in youth through educational opportunities, empowering them rise to the challenge to be allies against sexual exploitation and collaborates with organizations to provide survivor support. Purchased also facilitates events to raise awareness and educate people about modern day slavery, and inspire them to in the abolition movement. Posted by: Tim Swarens Friday, February 19, Marilyn Moores pauses as we pore over a thick stack of court records.
I do not doubt her assertion.
Many suffer from sexually transmitted diseases, passed on by the men who purchased them for sex. A single hour passes quickly. The wounds inflicted in those 60 minutes can last a lifetime.
The answer, sadly, is yes, in some cases. And Hurd noted that some men will pay a premium for underage teens. And it is ugly. It also is real, and it happens every day to children in our city.
Let's End Modern Day Slavery Purchased invests in youth through educational opportunities, empowering them rise to the challenge to be allies against sexual exploitation and collaborates with organizations to provide survivor support. Call for help: Know the s. ZIP: 20701 20794