Human Traffic Watch

Runaway girls focus of fight to curb sex trafficking

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm

She was sobbing when she dialed 911 from a downtown St. Paul hotel.

“Hi, this is Barb. I’m a runaway from Des Moines, Iowa, and I’m in big trouble,” she told the dispatcher. “I’m afraid I’m about to get killed!”

Between frantic breaths, the young woman, who had just turned 18, reported that she was being held captive in Room 851 of the Hilton Garden Inn. She feared her captors would return to the room any minute.

The chilling audio recording only hints at the nightmare she was experiencing. Ramsey County authorities later learned that the teen runaway was forced to have sex with about 30 men over the course of a week at the hotel, according to a criminal complaint filed last January.

Fearing the worst, Barb had even scribbled the names of her two captors in a notebook.

For police and prosecutors in St. Paul, the case underscored a troubling link between teens who run away from home and the child-sex trade.

Research shows that Minnesota girls who run from their homes are not only more vulnerable to being sold for sex, but also face a higher risk of being raped or sexually abused in other ways.

Source: Park Rapids Enterprise

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