Routine Traffic Stop Leads to Human Trafficking Arrests

LUBBOCK, TX (NEWS RELEASE) - May 8, 2017 around 11pm a Lea County Sheriff’s Office Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling west bound on US Highway 62/180 near Mini Ranch Road. The vehicle was stopped for speeding. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Jerry Johnson 29, Lubbock, Texas. A license check revealed Mr. Johnson does not possess a valid driver license. The Deputy also observed an open container of an alcoholic beverage in plain sight within the passenger compartment. Present in the vehicle where Toquan Yates 22, Lubbock, Texas, Dequante Jackson 22, Lubbock, Texas along with a juvenile female.

During an interview with the juvenile it was discovered the group was traveling from Lubbock, Texas to Carlsbad, New Mexico to engage in the criminal offense of prostitution. It was also learned the juvenile was being taken against her will.

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Eleanor Gaetan: Interview with a Truth-Teller

Eleanor Kennelly Gaetan advises Demand Abolition on federal policy and regulation regarding sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. She also works closely with the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), the nation’s oldest organization dedicated to ending human trafficking. Eleanor spent over five years in the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (2003-2009), overseeing public outreach and editing the annual Trafficking in Persons Report. She lives in Washington, DC.

As part of our Spotlight Q&A Series, Eleanor explains the importance of policies to fight sex trafficking, and why Demand Abolition’s approach is so crucial.

Q. What are the most important policies for fighting sex trafficking?

The US government advocates an approach codified in 2000 in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and we spread this approach around the world: we prosecute the traffickers, protect the victims, and prevent the crime.

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Celebrating the Women of Prime!

It was an honor to be a part of the Prime Highway Diamonds celebration of the women of Prime. We had such a great day meeting many of the Prime, Inc. drivers and sharing the Freedom Drivers Project with them. The fun continued that night with a gala honoring the talent, stories, and gifts of these women. 
Prime's fundraiser for TAT brought in over $3200 from individual donations all made from Prime employees! Thank you so much to Brooke Mosley for making that day possible for us! Thank you, Prime for also hauling our Freedom Drivers Project to and from the event!

New nonprofit seeks treatment for victims of prostitution, drugs

WORCESTER - 36-year-old Nicole M. Bell looks every inch the professional, hair neatly pulled back, a smart blouse and black skirt over sensible shoes. Ms. Bell indeed has become a leader in the city’s nonprofit realm, founding Living In Freedom Together, or LIFT, a resource and advocacy center for women who have been commercially sexually exploited. A center for women like herself.

Prostitution may be the world’s oldest profession, but it’s not one that the overwhelming majority of women enter voluntarily. The average age of entry into prostitution is between 12 and 14, younger than the age of consent to have sex, according to LIFT. Upward of 95 percent of those in prostitution were sexually assaulted as children. And it’s hard to get out of.

“Once you’ve been involved in sexual violence, it’s almost like dissociating,” Ms. Bell said. “You need drugs, so you get in a car. Then you need drugs to forget what you just did.”

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Sex Trafficking in Alabama: The Crime & the Fight Against It

Two dozen volunteers walk down a main drag in Birmingham’s Woodlawn neighborhood. They’re within sight of I-20, which has come to be known as “the sex trafficking superhighway.” The group reaches a cluster of run-down motels where prostitutes work.

Soon, a young woman with a small bruise on her head comes out and asks everyone to move to where her pimp can’t see them. Once out of view, the volunteers hug her, and she starts crying. They tell her they want her to be safe, that she hadn’t “done anything to be beat on,” and that there are places that will help her leave that life. One of those places is The WellHouse, the shelter and rehabilitation facility for sexually exploited women that’s organizing this day’s outreach, which volunteers call “Special Ops.”

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Prime Inc. truckers take stand against sex trafficking

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As the crime of sex trafficking begins to get more attention in this country, Prime trucking
of Springfield is preparing its drivers to be on the front lines of the fight.
Prime Inc. has nearly 7,000 truck drivers that go all over the United States. Last October, they joined the effort to fight human trafficking with Truckers Against Trafficking. Prime has trained nearly 2,800 drivers since October and is continuing.

Last Monday, employees had a chance to check out the Freedom Drivers Project. It's a traveling semi trailer that tells stories of human trafficking survivors and helps educate truckers on what they can do.

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Trafficking Survivor And Activist Dies

A human trafficking survivor who helped thousands of trafficked women has died.
Jennifer Kempton passed away Thursday morning near her home of Columbus, Ohio. 
Kempton’s descent into human trafficking began in her teens under the control of gangs in the poor suburbs of Columbus. She grew up in an abusive household, which made her an easy target for a trafficker. A young man who said he loved her became her “boyfriend” and then her pimp. He would make Jennifer sleep with other men to earn drug money.

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Pimp Culture Glorification and Sex Trafficking

Sex sells. The underground sex industry notoriously eludes any efforts to officially measure its size, but those of us who study it can say one thing for sure: It’s a booming industry in the U.S. and it’s bigger than you think. The sex trafficking industry generates staggering profits: Human trafficking is believed to be the third-largest criminal activity in the world, after the drug and arms trades. A landmark study by the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center published in 2014 researched illegal sex trafficking in seven major U.S. cities – San Diego, Seattle, Dallas, Denver, Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Miami – and estimated that in those cities alone, the size of the underground commercial sex economy in 2007 ranged from $39.9 million in Denver to $290 million in Atlanta. Seventy-three pimps and traffickers interviewed for the study stated that they perceived the underground sex economy as a low-risk, high-reward enterprise. Pimps and traffickers reported incomes from $5,000 to $32,833 a week.

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TAT Book Review---Nobody's Girl

Nobody’s Girl: A Memoir of Lost Innocence, Modern-Day Slavery and Transformation by:Barbara Amaya

Review by TAT deputy director Kylla Lanier

I read this book on a 2-hour flight to Denver, and I was mesmerized. I couldn’t put it down. I was transported into the world that Barbara Amaya lived in from childhood through adulthood. Her vivid account of being sexually abused as a young girl, running away repeatedly as a pre-teen, being trafficked as an adolescent, and then making her way in the world without knowing what she had experienced -- and not making the connection between so many of the later traumas and depressions and her exploitation until much later in life -- was shocking and heartbreaking.

In sharing her story, she helps the reader understand how childhood sexual abuse changes the person … changes how they see themselves, changes their sense of safety and self, changes how they see their family, and how those things impact future choices and makes one vulnerable to those seeking to exploit.

Nobody’s Girl is deeply personal, yet profoundly relatable. Barbara is able to talk honestly about her trafficker and even some of the buyers who paid for her exploitation. She details the humanity and vulnerability that they possessed, while never excusing the evil harm they did to her and others. She is able to see them as human, which is both uncomfortable for the reader and enlightening.

After she leaves her trafficking situation, Nobody’s Girl takes you on a trip through an abusive marriage, depression, the birth of her daughter, starting over, and a lingering criminal record … highs and lows on the pathway to true healing.

And then you read when she makes the connection that what happened to her was indeed exploitation and abuse … that she is a survivor of sex trafficking (and you are privileged to walk with her through that realization). You read about the vacating of her criminal record, her advocacy work, the sharing of her story, the strengthening of her mother/daughter relationship, overcoming so much in order to help so many others.

This is an extremely fast read, because it’s so easy to be absorbed into Barbara’s writing and experience. I highly recommend this book if you want a survivor’s firsthand account or if you want to understand how someone is almost set up to be trafficked. While certainly not universal, Barbara’s story illustrates a common path that trafficking victims often are forced to walk.

Nobody’s Girl is riveting, poignant and ultimately triumphant. Buy the book, read it and share it with a friend. You’ll find that it is worth it!


If you are involved in direct service, which involves providing direct interventions to survivors of human trafficking or population who may encounter interpersonal violence, you may have heard the term "trauma-informed." This term refers to treatment methodologies that are inclusive to traumatic experiences as a focus in a survivor's case plan or treatment modality.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to work for a number of organizations who do include trauma into the focus of their treatment for assisting persons to overcome adversity. Including, an in-depth exploration to the neuroscience of trauma and its physical impact on the brain. Trauma information is presented during every training opportunity for all staff, including case planning and multidisciplinary action teams. Trauma-informed care is inclusive to survivors in the process and allows the survivor to become an integral part of the healing process.

Ex-Campbell County judge indicted on charges of human trafficking, rape

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A Campbell County grand jury indicted a former judge last week on 11 charges related to human trafficking, rape and sex with minors.

Timothy Nolan is facing one count of human trafficking, one count of first-degree rape, five counts of human trafficking, one count of second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor in the second degree, one count of tampering with a witness, one count of third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor and prostitution, according to the indictment, which was released Wednesday.

He pleaded "not guilty" to the charges.

"I cannot make any statements -- I'd love to -- other than I can tell you that we have a great Constitution and I have a great attorney who will vigorously defend this," Nolan said.

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Oklahoma man accused of offering children on playground money for sex

TULSA, Okla. – An Oklahoma man is facing charges after allegedly offering young girls money for sex.

“My daughter told me that a guy was asking for sex,” one mother told FOX 23.

The mother says her daughter and a few other girls were playing on the playground at their apartment complex when they were approached by a man.

Investigators say Walter Lopez-Martinez approached the girls, who were between the ages of 8 and 13-years-old, and offered them $100 for sex.

Police say Lopez-Martinez also allegedly exposed himself and touched himself inappropriately while watching them on the playground.

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Colorado man who trafficked boys from California for sex sentenced to 50 years

AURORA, Colo. – A Colorado man convicted in March of bringing boys from California to Aurora so that he could have sex with them will spend 50 years in prison.

Sean Crumpler, 50, received the sentence Monday in 18th Judicial District Court in Colorado. He pleaded guilty in early March to three counts of human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude, though he originally faces 11 felonies and a sentence enhancer when he was first arrested.

Crumpler, who is HIV-positive, was arrested in August 2015 after one of the boys he trafficked talked to a family member, who alerted authorities in California. The FBI got involved in the investigation, which led to Crumpler and his home in Aurora.

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North Reading Police announce arrests of 5 alleged sex traffickers

NORTH READING -- Five individuals in four communities have been arrested following a joint local, state and federal investigation into alleged human sex trafficking, North Reading Police announced Saturday.

Chief Michael P. Murphy said the arrests and subsequent freeing of 10 women from alleged human sex trafficking resulted from an investigation launched by North Reading Police detectives.

According to Murphy, police determined that there was a suspected location in North Reading where victims of human trafficking were engaging in sexual acts for a fee with individuals who responded to online advertisements.

North Reading Police partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's Office in the case, which uncovered a widespread human trafficking, sex crime and money laundering operation, officials reported.

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