In a four-part series, “Saving Bobbi,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune tells the story of Bobbi Larson, a young woman who went from a “classic Minnesota childhood” to a life as an underage prostitute. Her guardians, Scott and Deanna Larson, told the paper they were stunned when Minneapolis Sgt. Grant Snyder called to explain that Bobbi, who had been missing, had fallen in with a group of sex traffickers.
Snyder said it happens more often than most people think. Though many Americans think of child sex trafficking as a global scourge of the developing world, advocates warn it is an insidious domestic problem, too. Unlike the past, when pimps paraded girls and women on street corners, sex trafficking in the digital age flourishes almost invisibly online. In just one 72-hour sting over the summer, an FBI-led operation rescued 105 children and netted 152 pimps in 76 cities nationwide, including four alleged pimps in the Twin Cities.