Suwanee supports resolution to fight human trafficking

The Suwanee City Council voted recently to support ‘Georgia’s Not Buying It’ initiative to fight human sex trafficking. The goal for this initiative is to encourage all 50 states to get involved in the ‘Not Buying It’ initiative.

Other initiatives include promoting training for mandated reporters so they can recognize and report illegal conduct and effectively support victims of sex trafficking. The city will also work to continue to appropriately train public safety personnel to recognize perpetrators of sex trafficking and to refer victims to service providers to assist them.

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Macon man arrested in human trafficking case

MACON - The Bibb County Sheriff's Office along with the US. Marshals Task force arrested a man wanted on the charges of rape and trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude on Thursday morning.

Police found 34-year-old Najiy Williams at a home on Rocky Creek Road and arrested him without incident.

His arrest comes a month after Bibb deputies went to the Greyhound Bus station on Spring Street in reference to a sexual assault on a woman.On February 18th, the woman told police she was sexually assaulted in a room at the Roadway Inn on Holiday Inn Drive North. She said a man she only knew as 'King,' was holding her against her will and tried to force her into prostitution. Police later identified that man as Najiy Williams.

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Legislation Would Require Trafficking Prevention Training for CDL Holders in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - State representatives approved a bill Tuesday afternoon that fights human trafficking in Arkansas and beyond with the help of truck drivers.

The legislation requires everyone with a class A commercial driver's license (CDL) to complete a human trafficking prevention course.

The training has been optional in the state since 2009 and according to lawmakers, most opt out of it. If the bill becomes law, they won't be able to.

"We're right in the middle of the nation," said Rep. Charlotte Douglas, R- Alma, who's sponsoring the bill. "Tremendous amount of traffic comes through here. The course allows them [drivers] to shift away from the mentality that that's just a prostitute to recognize the potential that these are victims of domestic sex trafficking when they see them."

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Wilton 'monsters' get 40 years to life for child sex assaults

On April 20, 2016, two teenagers walked into the State Police barracks in Wilton and reported a decade of sexual abuse and torture at the hands of Michael and Jeanne Mosher.
It led to a police investigation, the arrests of the Moshers for abusing at least four children and ultimately the couple's guilty pleas last month to the most serious sex crime charges on the books in New York state.
On Wednesday, the victims finally had their day — and say — in court as a Saratoga County judge sentenced the Moshers each to the maximum 40 years to life in prison.

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7 arrested on human trafficking charges in Miami-Dade County

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Seven people were arrested in the last week on human trafficking charges in Miami-Dade County, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced Thursday.

The arrests were made with the help of the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office Human Trafficking Task Force, Miami Beach police, Miami police and Miami-Dade police.

A 16-year-old girl and a young mother with a baby were among the victims who were rescued during the various operations, authorities said.

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Victim-turned-advocate speaks during sex trafficking workshop

Josie Feemster was groomed to be a sex trafficking victim at the age of just 17.

The teenage mother from Sacramento grew up in a dysfunctional home with drug and alcohol abuse had trusted the very person who had begun to turn her into a victim of “the life” — a term used to describe prostitution or exploitation.

Unlike many others in her situation, Feemster found a way out, and she told those in attendance at the Foster and Kinship Care Education workshop at Woodland Community College on Wednesday.

“It really felt like a scary dream I could not wake up from. I hated it, every moment, there were times that I didn’t even know who I was,” she said. “I would look in the mirror and wouldn’t recognize myself, it’s like I was dead inside.”

She shared her story, how she had a baby at 15 and thought she could make something of herself to get out of a tough situation at home; how she got into the dancing business and was groomed to be a victim; and how she was forced to do things for a number of different exploiters.

Brandon first responders learn to spot signs of human trafficking

BRANDON, Miss. —
Brandon firefighters and first responders underwent specialized training this week to spot the signs of human trafficking.

“It made me sick to think (that) an adult could do this to a child,” said Lori Farrar, with the city’s event services. “It is unthinkable, and to know that they are doing this in our state and our country? To do that, you just can’t imagine.”

Most of those taking the course Wednesday were unaware of how big the human trafficking business is in Mississippi. Class instructor Jody Dyess said that sex trafficking numbers pick up around big events like the Super Bowl, all-star games, NASCAR races, and in Mississippi, for big golf tournaments.

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Students Raise Money for Human Trafficking Victims

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Students at Spring Hill High School raised thousands of dollars to an organization that helps human trafficking victims.
The teens held a restaurant fundraiser that earned $3,000 dollars for Lighthouse for Life.
Students in a leadership class took on human trafficking as the issue they wanted to focus on this year.
“Just thinking it could happen to me or anyone that I know could motivate me cause it can happen to anyone,” Junior Madison Harper explained.
“It was like wow it's just, it's really out there, it’s right next you to your door without you even knowing, you really don't think about it until you get the information,” Senior Trey Williams said.

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Tulsa man donates $200,000 for sex trafficking vicitms' home in Muskogee

MUSKOGEE, Okla. - The United States is ranked fifth in the nation for the highest number of human trafficking victims, but a Muskogee woman is hoping to change that by opening a residence for female victims.

The key works and the door opens, but there's a lot that needs to be done before it's ready.

"The kitchen, we're going to need to do quite a bit of work there," RISE Founder Keri Spencer said. "Working with kids has always been where my heart has been."

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NC law enforcement officers work with truckers to stop human trafficking

A group of law enforcement officers, truckers and others teamed up Thursday to talk about human trafficking and efforts to stop it in North Carolina.

The state, with its college towns, military bases, agricultural land, Interstates 95 and 85 and 301 miles of ocean shoreline, consistently ranks high in human trafficking, according to N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein.

Stein spent time Thursday with the N.C. Human Trafficking Commission, the N.C. Trucking Association and Truckers Against Trafficking, an organization that educates drivers and truck stop employees about trafficking and signs to watch.

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Survivor fought her way out

The first man to pay for sex with Jasmine Grace Marino was old enough to be the teen’s grandfather.

Her pimp had driven her to a dark and musty massage parlor in Hartford, Conn. She wore a skimpy dress and stilettos. She worked from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. three days in a row. The men paid a door fee and picked out a girl.

“You go back into these other rooms with beds and you do whatever you do. You hustle, a half an hour, an hour,” Jasmine, who was in her late teens at the time, recalled. “My trafficker told me I had to make a certain amount each time.”

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First of kind lawsuit accuses N.E. Philly hotel of accommodating sex trafficking

A Northeast Philadelphia motel that prosecutors have called the city’s “epicenter of human trafficking” was sued Friday under a recent state law for permitting the pimping of a teenage girl in one of its rooms for two years.

“This is a message to the entire motel and hotel industry that if you allow and enable trafficking of youngsters, young women, or any person on your facilities, you will be held responsible and sued for damages under the law,” said Center City lawyer Thomas R. Kline.

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29 girls rescued as Utahns assist in sex trafficking sting

SALT LAKE CITY - Instead of hunting down child sex traffickers, Tim Ballard lets them come to him.

"We ended up creating this party on Super Bowl Sunday, and the traffickers agreed to bring the kids," said Ballard, Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad.

Ballard, who has 12 years of experience as a special agent in child trafficking, said he got the idea to start the group after visiting Haiti while working for the U.S. government.

"We saw this man looking for his boy," Ballard said of a Haitian father who feared he had lost his son to trafficking. "So, he walks the streets of Port-au-Prince, arbitrarily picking a neighborhood with a flashlight hoping to hear his son cry. That's his plan."

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Six men, one woman arrested by human trafficking unit

Everybody’s got a story, even if it’s a bad one. Take the seven recent arrests involving human trafficking that the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

There’s the accused pimp whose female minions battered a woman into prostitution after her friends lured her to Disney World from North Carolina. There’s the 16-year-old found naked in a hotel room with her accused pimp also naked. There’s the 19-year-old beaten when she refused to have sex with customers pulled in off Backpage com.

Though the individual stories deal in human depravity, the arrests mark a few more successes for the Human Trafficking Unit under Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. Fernandez Rundle said the unit that includes detectives from Miami, Miami-Dade, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles Beach and Doral has arrested more than 400 human traffickers and sexual predators and released more than 500 victims.

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