Tracking traffickers presents significant challenges, top prosecutors 2

Tracking traffickers presents significant challenges, top prosecutors

More than 100 victims of child sexual abuse were rescued in the United States last month in an attempt that entailed Operation Independence Day, which took place in Las Vegas, Atlanta and Seattle and resulted in 67 arrests.

One such case, in which former financier Jefferey Epstein was not yet embarrassed, said authorities died Saturday in a jail cell suicide. Epstein has been charged with human trafficking, including the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

US Attorney General William Barr said such cases are a priority, crimes related to sex trafficking are unique and difficult to prosecute.

(MORE: The reality of trafficking allegedly occurring in massage brothels) Giorgos Georgiou / NurPhoto on Abolishion's Street Performance on Raising Awareness of Trafficking and Sexual Slavery, Athens, Greece, September 20, 2016

According to the Department of Justice, the law defines trafficking by "forcing a law or forcing one's work, services or commercial sexual acts. Coercion may be subtle or overt, physical or psychological, but it must be used by the victim of a job, service or commercial sexual activity . "

Hilary Axam, chief prosecutor at the Ministry of Justice's Institute for Trafficking in Human Beings, said it was difficult to prove that the victim had actually been abducted, against the victim, because it required involvement in the victim's life. the ghost.

"You have to prove that the victim is unconscious," Axam said at a conference of the Police Executive Investigative Forum in Washington this week. "It's hard evidence."

In some cases, that burden is difficult to hit, so prosecutors will raise the suspicion that he is trading some people with some seemingly unrelated to the attack, such as a charge without a firearm.

Pius Utomi Ekpei / AFP / Rights Activists, under the auspices of the Justice and Development Commission, marched against illegal trafficking and violence across the country in protest on March 18, 2017 in Lagos.

Prosecutors often also work closely with the Ministry of Labor, which has been sworn in by prosecutors dealing with visa fraud. According to a report from Polaris, a top human trafficking research group, traffickers often commit to visa fraud as part of their scheme.

Trafficking can be lucrative, and those affected often find ways to avoid speedy law enforcement agencies. For example, massage parlors closed by police must be opened under a different name but with the same affiliation with the trafficking business, according to trafficking expert Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco.

According to Polaris, there are over 9,000 illegal massage companies in the US that have sales of about $ 2.5 billion.

The July operation involved more than 400 law enforcement agencies and agents who posted false information to help identify potential victims, the FBI reported.

Agents rely on the intelligence of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to identify boys who are outlaws, missing children and adolescents.

Further news from ABC News & # 39; Karma Allen

Updated: August 11, 2019 1:15 AM