The Owner of the New England’s Patriots recent arrest has brought sex-trafficking back into the light. The Michael Epstein “Sex Island” case is about to do the same soon. This is the first of a multi-post series to try to help folks better understand the implications and scope of this arrest
While the sex-trafficking ring in Florida was one of several types (in this case (Asian massage and nail salons are just one of several hubs) there are three takeaways for now:
While there is no difference if the victims are Asian and recently entered illegally into the country but there is a tendency to think of victims coming from abroad. Nothing could be further from the truth. The facts are that they are just as often all-American, white bread suburban girls (and boys) who are carefully targeted and groomed to be turned into victims. No matter where you live, small town or a big city, rich or poor, young people are being recruited and sold somewhere very near to you. I know this first-hand as I have been involved in the rescue, safe-housing and writing sex-trafficking law in Connecticut.
Believe it. Courtesy of our friends at Shared Hope, see it for yourself in this video.
With no apology to New England Patriots fans (of which my entire household is) Robert Kraft and the others caught in the Florida sting while presumably embarrassed (or not), will get off with the proverbial “slap on the wrist”.
Well, not just because they are rich and powerful but because Florida state law counts their “rape for money” as a Misdemeanor and not a Felony charge. So wrong.
Were that to have happened in Connecticut, I am proud to tell you (sounds odd to write but no less a fact) they would be prosecuted under felony charges that match the Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act that was made federal law in 1999.
That law is clear and explicit – any sexual transaction as a result of force or fraud or coercion or when a victim is under the age of 18, is not, so-called “prostitution” but a sex/human trafficking violation. There is no such thing as an “underage prostitute” even though 20 years after the TVPA the press continues to perpetuate this nonsense. And yes, while the Federal Government offered “sample” law for states to adopt, the majority of states have been sitting on their hands while this goes on.
CauseACTION is working to change this all across the country. More soon.