Feb 6, 2014|
Angela discusses the epidemic of sex trafficking with Dr. Rafael and Beth Salcedo of the Louisiana Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
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Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Well I can't tell you how much I enjoyed being with team Maarten and the delightful super chancellor of Delgado. Well Monty Sullivan there there are dynamic duo and they have a great team. And the new culinary institute is going to be a blessing to this community and exciting things for people who are interested in food and people who just like to cook at home. Can learn a lot anyway will be following. We're gonna do a big mental shift. -- into a very serious topic. When the words sex trafficking come up many people think of young foreign women being sold into sex slavery all over the world. In reality sex trafficking is a growing issue right here in America. Prior to last week's Super Bowl the FBI rescued sixteen kids. And arrested 45 pimps in conjunction with the sex trafficking operation. The sex workers were aged thirteen to seventeen. But it's happening much closer than New York Rangers. The New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas have been named among the top ten areas in the United States for sex trafficking. Why is this happening. Just how bad is this year and more importantly. What's being done to fight it. -- here to talk about it is doctor Rafael -- -- and his wife Beth. Who are co founders of the Louisiana coalition against human trafficking. Thank you both for being here we have a lot to learn. I would first -- sort of paint the picture. I think I'll always think of just left of some foreign country some poor woman being. You know taken away and put in May -- to a brothel to a sexually. It's it's not that. It is that but it's not that so tell me what we're seeing. In the United States in in our area. The problem Angela has become. A huge one in the United States over the last few years it's a very lucrative. Enterprise. And the busy dynamic relationship between. As you refer to the camp. The victim. Previously referred to as as the prostitute. And the jar and the consumer. Atypical. Seller of these services and typical pimp. With four girls can make between 40600000. Dollars a year with just four girls. The problem has become. Quite significant in in the United States two. The point where it is estimated and statistics are hard to come because this is all done in secret. But the best available statistics which we have from the FBI and other governmental sources and other NGOs. Estimates approximately between a 400000. The victims of sex trafficking in the United States. At any given point in time and these include children. And these include when. Adult that is correct that's correct and so. It's it's it's grown because it is such a lucrative enterprise that is starting to a catch up with that drug trafficking. As the second largest criminal enterprise. And it is an interesting and unfortunate interplay between supply demand and the victims themselves. How much has the Internet. Come into play. The Internet has is huge. Because now. Instead of selling pornography in the magazines the way we grew up. You know having an exposed in magazines and now. You can easily. Put it. Sell a girl on back page or any number of sources. In an afternoon. And put it on there and sell the girl the same night and or even make videos or whatever you wanna do. Now you can get a girl -- you can get a pizza. -- statement. First of all let's go back again I think some of us grew up in the generation. When let's say a young girl -- fifteen years old runs away from home she takes a bus to New York or someplace and the pants are all waiting. That kind of vision I think we have it but it's going beyond that now absolutely. Anytime you put a vulnerable child and adult who's willing to exploit a child you have been. The ingredients for trafficking. Com you can looking any. Area in our community you're right the children that are maybe. A cool worst you know like they would get off the bus and and then you know you would have. The -- in the camp saying you know they've you know -- cold and when he -- you. A good dinner analysts take gates is something he and he too warm place to be but there's also. Trafficking going on -- -- junior high schools and our high schools. Where. Is the students themselves are trafficking each there. It's not just as a -- with a long -- -- -- the big jewelry. Traffickers. Are cell identifiable. Their cell. So any body that 888 can be anything parents traffic their children. Friends traffic other friends. The the biggest scenario is where you would have a situation where you do have you know a -- and he he controls. Manipulates terrorize -- in fouls his group of -- which he calls a staple. And at that in itself is disgusting. And then. Then. Of course -- girls are so terrorized. By by his fear and it manipulation. That. They do exactly what he says and there are so fearful to do anything out but EU just. Anything you can think about. Traffickers range from. The guy on the street that looks like Japan to the highest levels of government and -- and the United States they call it America's biggest. -- dirty secret there. Mean people who work for the government -- -- -- -- and there is any time you have. NAND or a woman woman women -- Traffic that are willing to exploit a child it doesn't matter what position they hold. The if they're willing to do it is able finally to do yes as a matter of fact if you remember just recently. I guess not this lasting that they had a staying. From Canada. And they rescued I wanna say fifty girls not just from Canada from north the United States and Canada area. -- the people the traffickers that they arrested included judges teachers pastors. Parents Foster care workers. It was incredible what date with the where they come from and so they are now. That our laws have changed because now. Anybody in that participates. In and the the taking of the girl the providing for the girl. The hiding of the child. And -- selling off our. Are accomplices to trafficking and can be. Indicted for prosecuted for trafficking that includes the manager is that has the room set up. In motel eight and it knows what's going on -- doesn't say anything and get to kick back. That includes. The waitress that they guy will bring his girls and eat and knows exactly what's going on in his paid on the side. That includes anybody that says as a manager of the apartment place that is that is housing and anybody that taxicab driver anybody. You know it wasn't from an Internet just for 12. Because you're saying. It's all over. There was yes that was the case of the Super Bowl and it wasn't just the sixteen or seventeen young people that they. They say -- but it was also a bunch of women say Bryant but of the underage it kind of caught the headline. But just in our own newspaper. And woman was arrested in Houston she's from Lafayette from she's from Lafayette and this is what struck me. Suspected of using clothes and manicurist. To lure young girls into a life of prostitution. This is a woman who is 23 years old 22 years old from Lafayette she's working with the nineteen year old man. Now of course this is alleged action on the court. But it's wait -- minute. The -- you're making your living right weird talking sex trafficking right in our own backyard please stay with this. We'll be right back on Angela on WW well we are talking with doctor Rafael -- -- and his wife Beth. Who are co founders of the Louisiana coalition against human trafficking. I think opening all of our eyes to this isn't somebody else's problem first of all. Number one it's a huge problem it is at our back door and front door. And you all are now trying to fight so we're gonna go there but I. I think you've painted a pretty clear picture of the enormity of it. The fact the good news that the laws are changing to get those not just directly involved peripherally very important. But. I still think people are wondering why can't these girls run and not talk about the little kids but the ones who are who have run away from home or whatever. And but at some point become frightened saying oh my gosh this is worse than when I left. They still can't run. And that's because it's a form of modern day slavery. And of course slavery was. Largely. A mechanism of mental and psychological control. When when slavery existed in this country. You know it was up to -- largely to psychological control through physical abuse through. A psychological torture that people were kept in chains. On the same is true. Of what's going on -- these girls there's something called the Stockholm syndrome. And that is where. At a person identifies. With the individual or group that is victimizing them. And we've seen that in cases of girls that have been kidnapped dot. Like Elizabeth Smart. In Utah. Who was abductor. Kept her for several months and was when she was finally identified. By the police at a convenience store she denied her identity she she had become bonded with her abductor. And got so that's part of that mechanism which keeps these girls in bondage and it's it's a very systematic process is set a new process. The Nazis did that with the Jews with a break them down. They they they expose them to helpless. Helplessness and hopelessness. They make the the girls become dependent on them for things like food. It's not a usual for the girls. To become addicted by their abductors and by the traffickers. Two different drugs so that. The pimp. Becomes even more menace that city for them to function. And that's part of the reason why and not only. They don't run away sometimes after their rescue they will come and go back because as there's -- psychological bond that's been created. And there's an expression that says. Any port in the storm it's better to know. Europe. Your abductor and you know what to expect then to go into an uncertain world in not knowing what to expect. And these girls can be broken down psychologically and emotionally. To that point where. That's all they see that their their a doctor is there -- lover or there rescuer. That the it isn't it we're talking about grown women were talking about young women and who -- children really. You know seventeen below and then you're also talking about boys as well little boys at that as part of this. Market. For lack of a better word from. At some point. It becomes as I was reading information I kept thinking. This is what the mafia used to he absolutely it was this was a product whether it was alcohol that was you know against prohibition it's drugs. And now it's women and children. And you know it's that I'm really proud to say that Louisiana now has become a model. Four legislation on how to. Addresses and -- was talking about that a little while ago there was legislation introduced in 2012. By representatives. -- And others and bring some. In which. The penalties for. The pimps in particular became much more severe. There was an entire paradigm shift. Or change in the way. Things were viewed. Where now. It used to be that the trilogy was. The prostitute. The John that the buyer and the -- And the only one that got in trouble was the prostitute even it was the child prostitute they got arrested they got thrown in juvenile hall. Now this this legislation is modeled after a a change in the way people think about this. Where. The the girl is not a young prostitute but she's a victim and she's treated like a victim. In fact -- it's not uncommon for girls from other countries to be imported into the United States and others laws that allow. The them to become citizens into and to receive services that would not otherwise be available to them if they are identified and verified to be victims of sex trafficking. -- -- they also arrested -- Well that's that's. An interesting. Question. It used to be that the John's walk away with just slap on the wrist now that Johns are also being prosecuted vigorously and aggressively. That's that component of this that deals with the demand. If there -- no demand -- that there would be no supply there would be no need for the supply. So really the ones who are fueling this primarily. Our the Johns that consumers who go Andyaat. By these little girls off for a few hours sometimes for several hundred dollars or thousands of dollars. And down. And the -- ends up keeping the money the girl keeps -- keeps any of the money. And when they're in it it used to be that when there was an arrest. The only one went to jail was the girl who ended up getting bonded out by the camp. Now it's quite different now law enforcement died she circus here has been very actively involved and an adult survivors. As -- is out of those treated by Eden house which is a local home four adult women who are victims of sex trafficking. And with his. The difference because I know I can just your proves it. If a woman you're saying that a woman not nodding your girl but the same adult moment who is a prostitute. Is not choosing to be -- Up that that is a that's an interesting question. That the majority of women who wind up and in in the sex trade is what what they refer to it now. Or. Introduced into that as as girls at the age of 1213 fourteen. Significant proportion of them so then it comes to what is really choice. Did a choice to be added to choose to be abducted -- and tortured and their minds. Changed and altered and forced to become dependent on on a way of life that they cannot escape including drug addiction. Many women remain in prostitution because. They became addicted when did you become addicted the became addicted while they were teenagers and we're in the process of being groomed. By their pimps. Is it true that in some cases that. Young people boys and girls that once they are captive of these camps that they could have thirty. Customer tonight. That would not be unusual at all effect would be an average. Young girls I can be forced to have. Even more than. That number of -- sexual encounters and again they never see any of the money they -- just. A moved from one customers to the other. They sleep during the day. The action is at night and curiously we've come to learn from a local girl that dot. Beth and I have been working with them maybe she can talk about. That perspective. They work primarily from Monday through Thursday. On the weekends. When the Johns stale with the families there -- -- work. Just kind of an interesting twist to follow this and it's important to start thinking about this out the box because it's not as it would appear. I want to know you know what we're gonna take a break we have to go to the newsroom but I wanna come back and won a wanna find out how you'll got involved in this. And two I know you had to -- planned for something on the North Shore that we need to talk about as well but we are talking about sex trafficking it is in this community. And needs to stop. So now let's go to the newsroom and Chris Miller. We are talking about sex trafficking it is happening today in our community not just in foreign countries. Not just in big cities it is happening this year. And doctor -- -- fatal and his wife Beth. Who have started an organization to fight this have clearly drawn a picture of what we're facing him what these young people are facing young girls and women. And in some cases little boys. But we have to stop and I'm glad to hear from you doctor that you're happy to see the laws on the books now in in Louisiana that can. Help stop it but it's gonna be more than that. Tell me what you all are are hoping for for this home that you are building or are buying essentially to help. Girls get out of it. Well we're really excited because. They are less than ten homes in the entire country. It was eight last time I checked and so I'm getting a couple leeway for children that have been. Sex traffic to bomb and you can imagine that these girls. Have been so tormented and so abused and so. Just in such a bad place that they cannot go. Are they shouldn't be treated in a home you know with other men with mental illnesses or anything these girls are -- victims in a special way and they need special attention. So we are going to open -- home -- -- to be in the greater metropolitan area of New Orleans. Com and it will be as safe house it'll be a place that we will. Provide basically. A rescue and restoration we want to rescue them off the streets and get those babies. Out of the hands of those people and then help them healing in give them anything that they need to -- to give them. -- hope and happiness. That a future that they're looking for you know so many of them. And it will say. You know I'll I'll ask you tell me out what you wanna do in your future. You know what plans do you have what you dream about and they don't drain date -- they don't to date -- they have really not thought about that. You know and I want him to dream -- -- to think what they can be in the intelligence that god given and then and all the skill set that they have to put it into something in -- We will be providing. Holistic approach we will include mental health and of course we will include. A spiritual component on. Kind of the way we're going to view it the re in -- home is called the free indeed home and we believe there's only -- him. And Jesus but you can't force people. After your religion that's why we're doing it until our hope is that. These girls will see a light in darkness and that they will be so consumed with love that. Their relationship with us will be stronger than with their relationship with the parent they will see through it. And then we will be able to do something and help them and help them heal through that process. And you know I think a lot of people might be asking. For some of these people that finally you're picked up by the police and they're not gonna go to jail because they -- the victims they don't go home. So the state to go home but these girls have been sell. Living in such a dysfunctional world -- really do believe that this man called the daddy. Is their lover and they will do everything they -- get back to him and so if even if they're put in Foster care homes go back to their biological families. Com day will do everything they canticle back -- 'cause they don't believe they're being rescued immediately they eventually do once they get to this Stockholm. Send -- the trauma bonding but that's all -- -- now in it's so crazy you know I can it. There's a story JC -- guard admiral if you remember her she's a little garlic -- in the backyard -- -- California. In a foundation. For eighteen years yes and she's raised two children and she was -- so long when they finally rescued. In this girl. She was thinking about it literally. How are on our predator was. Across the table from the probation officer. And it's she was sitting there right with him and she did not. Tell anybody and when they finally figured out what was going on. I'll never forget this part of audio book it's an incredible story. She was sitting at in the interrogation room across from woman a law enforcement. Female and until their female said JC we know what happened to you. Go ahead and -- you have to say your name. You know and there -- five this is what happened because we found information out and she could not even saying her name she could not say her name. Even though she was rescued she said give me piece of paper and pencil -- right thing. It's such a mind game in that if the slavery it's not a physical slavery the other thing and we didn't really talk about. Is that these are these of Barry evil people. They not only threatened that girls with safety but they will say I'm -- where your parents live in China where your if your family as I I've -- I've not seen it firsthand. With able say I will Cody Stanley -- Killian family if you don't come back to the south part of one story. Where a little girl tried to run away and this. Isn't -- camp. Said all look at this picture of your brother what would he look like with -- on his face. And so of course. If you -- especially a little girl and then. I -- one up living in a cage for a year and coming in out at night to to do the work because he wanted to sell terrorized or you know just recently they had. On urban street a girl a woman a young woman was rescued with two juvenile. On girls and distort who was once they got her behind. In safety and asked -- questions this man had been so. The day she he would basically pulled her off the street to coercive. Moves and she had been trying to get away for a year he beat her up routinely not little B -- beat up where. Severely cut the top of her finger Roth. Just so brutalized her and she was so thrilled that somebody found her. And you know that's one of those stories that you think he sitting right there within walking distance of this place and and in greeting only we just in now since you sent in clear site tonight right. Exactly it's in plain -- dot I have a confession to make up. Among them clinical psychologist or receive done an excellent training through Louisiana state university in Baton Rouge. And down. Have a working relationship with -- the department of children and family services and I do their evaluations -- psychological evaluations and I've been doing that for. Over twenty years now. And I know that I saw. Some of these girls. Go. Through my evaluation process. And I just didn't recognize I didn't see the signs that was there which now of course are much more aware of and we're having a conference on this Saturday. To educate the public. As to what to look for but dot. It is a the condition or a situation which is often times hidden in plain view. He just don't see what is so obviously there you miss it because. You're not thinking that way I mean most of us don't. Don't exactly have been watching your reactions and you know I can tell that -- having a difficult time sort of integrating this. -- within. Your way of looking at people and at the world because it makes us all feel much more vulnerable we have like children and grandchildren. And what we think about it that way it's very scary. Very scary and profoundly -- stay with us we're gonna continue on the subject of sex trafficking right after the -- We are talking with two people who are literally on a mission and that is to not stop the sex trafficking. That in fact is happening in the New Orleans Baton Rouge area -- a repeat when it's in the very beginning. Baton Rouge New Orleans area top ten in the United States for this kind of activity and you're going blocked. How can that be aren't these just the prostitutes we used to seeing on urban street you're saying it's much more than that. It's much greater than that it is in basically any. City town. Village in Louisiana. You will be defined. Men that are are women that are exploiting children or adult women okay. You all are having a big conference. This weekend open to the public -- wearing -- -- is in man to fill Baptist Church starts at 8:30 in the morning. We do ask that if you're interested in coming and it is open you know to anybody we would just absolutely be thrilled to have you come. But we ask that you sign up on our website because we are providing a free. Lunch take full he -- at. In the website is Al -- -- HT. Dot org and you just click on the conference. Icon and you can register very quickly on in it is a full day conference. In it will provide. Anything that you could possibly want to know are they need to know about about the subject. Are you all going into police departments and sang as you were saying after. It's a paradigm change -- we're looking at things differently you're absolutely right it wasn't that long ago. It wasn't the John who was arrested wasn't attempt most of the time it was the prostitute moved and now overseeing the prostitute is the victim who and everybody else making money. Exactly and again I want them I mentioned that chief surpass in particular. He was previously of course the chief of police in and at the cut Chattanooga Tennessee. And he became acquainted with the problem there and that's middle America in Tennessee. Who would imagine and so he brought that with him two did the in laws. -- area and has been a real champion. For human trafficking. And so important because it's a very difficult subject to -- to deal with oftentimes. Law enforcement personnel don't know what to do with these cases. They're not they know what to do with with the camps but they don't know what do with the victims -- girls. And up so. The conference is designed to develop awareness. We're gonna have breakout sessions in the afternoon at one of them specifically for law enforcement. One for mojo for and medical professionals. People in the emergency room encounter these girls all the time and oftentimes they're missed -- C decides. Signs like for example. The John won't leave the examining room. Or unexplained bruises or there's a certain quality. That these girls present with which is difficult to describe. But it's recognizable. And there's there's something in their -- there's something about their -- that doubt that seems hollow especially those that have been. Traffic for two or three years that. Goals -- long -- -- the loss of hope. The helplessness they did it the feeling of being enslaved. To such a degree that they see no way out. So the conference will also address some. Not only awareness education but also rescue and restoration. And we have as Beth said -- we have acquired a property. In order to open up by a home. Now for our girls seventeen and under. In working in concert with that the department of children and family services would be a resource for them in fact. I have the pleasure of having relationships with that many of the judges because about the work that I do. And in in with the criminal courts in particular. And down the judges have been very supportive we're having a then go to the law enforcement -- section. And again the changes in the legislature seem to. Reflect this change in attitude. That is taking place not only locally but nationwide. It's a matter fact representative Hodges. And representative Schroeder will be joining us. For the conference we have several other elected officials that are very interested in participating in learning about the so everything is good. From you know our perspective of trying to get the the word out in in. Status and people that can make a difference pat -- our parish president is wonderfully. Interested in helping us off a lot I want to mention that -- Edmondson and -- state police and they're doing an outstanding job any time you look at these articles you'll see. That the state police were involved in staying. With this and so there they're troopers are very well educated and know exactly what they're looking at and so they're there a partnering. In this fight. I wanna -- -- that -- I dress against LA CNA HT which is the Louisiana coalition against human trafficking. And that's LA CA HT dot org. Go to that learn about what you're doing and you can sign up for the conference which is Saturday free 8:30 in the morning as amended -- Baptist Church. Are you hoping that you will get others to follow suit and and volunteer and tried. You're absolutely what we're really hoping -- is that -- you understand the coalition is just not since nowhere wanting other community leaders and other. Organizations. To partner with us across the state it's not a local thing it's going to be a state. And we just now getting started with that. And that's one of the things we do want people to know about -- home we actually do need help with our home and volunteers and anything that you can help I think. Both of you very much a doctor roughing also -- and wife Beth. And here are incredible people and event and very very important mission. Thank you so much staying in touch with us from we'll be right back. We're going to have globe we're gonna have -- code word in just a moment for our. WB will cash contest stay with us.