The opiate scourge has created a sad wave of desperate addicts lured into ruthless sex trafficking rings even as a tough, new law has given cops a powerful tool to take dozens of internet-savvy pimps off the streets, the Boston Herald reports. The victims’ stories are harrowing. Some girls sold for sex are as young as 11 years old. They’re kept in hotel rooms for days on end, forced to make nightly quotas. Some are sold for sex by their own family members. The girls being trafficked come from cities and suburbs. If they aren’t already using drugs, many start using them later, as a means to cope with their nightmare ordeals.
Since a 2012 state anti- human trafficking law toughened penalties against pimps and sex buyers, and recognized girls being sex trafficked as victims rather than criminals, the Attorney General’s office has charged 34 people with sex trafficking, and seven of them were convicted. “Human traffickers are literally targeting and preying upon women, in particular who are drug addicted,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. “With the opiate crisis, we’re seeing a rise in this kind of activity. It’s so sad because traffickers will literally line up outside clinics and try to lure women into this industry with promises of drugs. The Herald found that sex buyers’ demands are becoming sicker and an increasing number want unprotected sex. Doctors, lawyers, academics and businessmen are among those buying sex. They want anything from the “girlfriend” experience to fetish fantasies.