According to a 2018 survey, 63 percent of trafficking victims were transported on trains, trucks, buses, taxis, and other modes of land travel. That has put the men and women who operate the nation’s public and private mass transit systems on the front lines of the struggle against traffickers, writes a former rail police officer.
Internet-savvy pimps are taking advantage of the economic disclocations caused by the pandemic to recruit vulnerable women and control their movements, a New York City detective told a webinar examining the new landscape of sex trafficking in the U.S.
Legal experts and anti-trafficking groups say her 2015 case was the first filed against a hotel or motel for its role in a trafficking crime. According to the Human Trafficking Institute, there were at least 25 new cases filed nationwide against hotels and motels last year under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Cyntoia Brown-Long of Tennessee, who was granted clemency from a life prison term this year after she served 15 years for murdering the man she called her pimp, hopes sharing her story can help other young women exploited by sex traffickers.
One of the women under scrutiny, Epstein’s onetime girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, has been accused in several well-publicized lawsuits of overseeing efforts to procure girls and young women for him, a charge she has firmly denied.
Nearly two dozen accusers shared their accounts with Judge Richard M. Berman at a hearing called after federal prosecutors said they planned to drop the sex trafficking charges against Epstein in light of his death — a decision that requires a judge’s approval.
Federal prosecutions for sex trafficking of children declined 26.7 percent over the past year, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. The decline raises questions about whether the administration’s focus on the issue has slipped.