A 43-year-old anesthesiologist from Gainesville, Ga., was arrested this month on federal charges of to Russia for illegal sex with a minor. Women’s eNews reports that Gregory Kapordelis was charged under the child sex tourism provisions of the 2003 PROTECT Act, which says that U.S. citizens who visit foreign countries for sex with minors can be prosecuted under U.S. laws.
Prosecutions have drawn praise from some religious groups fighting child pornography and sexual exploitation worldwide. Many grassroots anti-trafficking organizations have concerns that the plight of women forced into prostitution will still slip under the global radar.
Most of the five arrests made under the PROTECT Act have been of single individuals heading overseas for the purpose of having sex with minors. LaShawn Jefferson of Human Rights Watch would like to see a similar effort devoted to ending sex trafficking worldwide, including in the United States. Data on the subject are inexact. The U.S. government estimates that between 800,000 and 900,000 people–mostly women and children–are trafficked each year across international borders, with between 18,000 and 20,000 brought into the United States. Many activist and nongovernmental organizations say the actual figures are much higher.