Ask Fox 35 to Report on Human Trafficking
On April 19, Fox 35 Orlando reported that a Sheriff from Polk County arrested “60 alleged prostitutes, pimps and johns” following a week-long undercover bust targeting “escort services.” However, this crackdown was not simply involving alleged escort services, but young girls who - under the control of pimps - performed sex acts for johns.
Polk County prostitution bust targets online escorts: MyFoxORLANDO.com
This article and its accompanying video mention a 15 year-old female minor who was arrested with her pimp:
“Detectives also arrested what they thought was a 19 year old that turned out to be a 15-year-old runaway from Chicago. She was accompanied to the house by her alleged pimp and gang member boyfriend and her two-month-old baby boy. They waited outside in a car while she went inside. ‘This is just a snapshot of what we're dealing with. For those that say it's only prostitution, this baby was exposed to that conduct,’ said [Sheriff Grady] Judd."
This young woman is a human trafficking victim under U.S. law [18 U.S.C. § 1591], since she has not reached 18 years of age and was induced to perform commercial sex acts.
Given the nature of this pimp-controlled prostitution case, it is important to let Fox 35 know that this minor is in fact a sex trafficking victim. Raising awareness about human trafficking is a critical step towards correctly identifying victims and prosecuting traffickers. It is important to educate members of the media to identify the crime so they can report on it correctly. Please consider writing a letter to Fox 35 Orlando in response to their initial coverage.