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Prostitution Ring Using Children Operated In Florida ^ | 12/16/05 | AP

Posted on 12/17/2005 11:49:14 AM PST by wagglebee

WASHINGTON -- Prostitution rings from New York to Hawaii forced more than 30 children as young as 12 to have sex at truck stops, hotels and brothels, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Friday, announcing a government crackdown.

Nineteen people have been arrested among 31 who have been indicted for sexual trafficking in children, taking minors across state lines for prostitution and other crimes, Gonzales said.

The indictments, in Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, target the purported operators of four child prostitution rings. Some of the children had been reported missing or had run away because they had been abused at home, FBI assistant director Chris Swecker said.

"The abhorrent acts alleged in these charges include children being herded around the country as sex slaves, forced to work as prostitutes in brothels and at truck stops, and beaten at the hands of pimps and peddlers," Gonzales said at a Justice Department news conference.

The heightened federal interest in stopping child prostitution is critical since pimps frequently take children from one state to another, making it harder for local police to stop them, said John Rabun, vice president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "If you're bright as a pimp, and thank God a lot of them aren't, you move them every two to three weeks," Rabun said.

A grand jury in Camden, N.J., indicted eight people Wednesday on charges that they conspired to recruit girls to be prostitutes in Atlantic City, N.J., Las Vegas and New York, according to court documents. The defendants managed a prostitution ring that also extended to Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, the indictment said.

Matthew Thompkins and five others arrested Sunday are in custody in New Jersey. Thompkins had a central role in the conspiracy, the indictment said.

In Detroit, a grand jury charged four Ohio residents with forcing two girls, 14 and 15, to have sex at a truck stop in Michigan. The girls had been held as virtual prisoners in Toledo, Ohio, where they were told to address one defendant, Deric Willoughby, as "Daddy," and taken to hotel rooms for prostitution. Their payments were eventually turned over to Willoughby, the indictment said.

Another defendant, Richard Lamar Gordon, is identified in the indictment as a truck driver who took the girls from a Sears parking lot in the Toledo area to the Michigan truck stop and had sex with one of them. He has not been arrested.

A second indictment in Michigan charges Robert Lewis Young and two other men with prostitution, child pornography, money laundering and drug and weapons violations. Young's organization did business in Michigan and Hawaii, prosecutors said.

In Pennsylvania, 16 people have been charged for their roles in taking girls as young as 12 to work as prostitutes at truck stops in the Harrisburg area as well as Washington and Toledo. The defendants also allegedly gave and sold child and adult prostitutes to each other for personal use, prosecutors said.

Domestic child prostitution cases have been a federal law enforcement priority since 2003 with the advent of the Justice Department's Innocence Lost Initiative. When he became attorney general in February, Gonzales said he would focus on reducing all forms of human trafficking.

Several federal laws ban sexual trafficking in children, including one that specifically applies to taking minors across state lines to engage in prostitution.

There have been more than 500 arrests, 70 indictments and 67 convictions in such cases since 2003, Gonzales said.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: childprostitution; moralabsolutes; prostitution; sextrafficking
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I'd love to see some of the explanations of how "harmless" prostitution is.
1 posted on 12/17/2005 11:49:15 AM PST by wagglebee
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To: wagglebee

Child prostitution is always harmful. Adults freely engaging in prostitution are not necessarily harmed, although most are.

That said, all of these people, having been found guilty in a court of law, should be imprisoned in a cell with the very worst male rapist incarcerated at the prison to which they are assigned.

No death penalty. Just lock up up in a room with "Tiny" for life without the possibility of parole. If "Tiny" gets released or dies before they do, move "Sweetie-Pie" into the cell. And so on.

2 posted on 12/17/2005 11:55:57 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: little jeremiah

Moral absolutes ping.

3 posted on 12/17/2005 11:56:36 AM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

Death penalty for these people.

4 posted on 12/17/2005 12:16:08 PM PST by samtheman
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To: wagglebee
I'd love to see some of the explanations of how "harmless" prostitution is.

Non sequitor since these events involved kidnapping, false imprisonment, and sexual assualt of minors, which are most definitely not harmless.

5 posted on 12/17/2005 12:22:26 PM PST by ThinkDifferent (I am a leaf on the wind)
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To: wagglebee

Execution is one solution. Anyone kidnapping anyone of any age for sexual slavery especially, or other kinds of slavery, should be executed. And if the enslaved person is a minor? Execute 'em twice.

Public hangings are in order. And no 25 years of appeals. One appeal, within 6 months. Then to the gallows.

6 posted on 12/17/2005 12:25:32 PM PST by little jeremiah
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To: wagglebee

Oh, I thought only homosexual men were into post-pubescent sex, how could this be? /sarcasm off

7 posted on 12/17/2005 12:28:28 PM PST by The Cuban
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To: wagglebee

this is enslavement.

the slavers should hang.

8 posted on 12/17/2005 12:42:02 PM PST by King Prout (many accuse me of being overly literal... this would not be a problem if many were not under-precise)
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To: The Cuban

How do you know this did not involve homosexual men?

9 posted on 12/17/2005 2:40:49 PM PST by Galveston Grl (Getting angry and abandoning power to the Democrats is not a choice.)
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To: Galveston Grl

The article only mentions girls.

10 posted on 12/17/2005 2:54:28 PM PST by The Cuban
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To: wagglebee
"I'd love to see some of the explanations of how "harmless" prostitution is."

Such an explanation cannot be made on the basis of this article. It would have to look something like this: "Children are being kidnapped, transported across state lines, and being forced to be prostitutes. Therefore, prostitution is harmless."

11 posted on 12/17/2005 2:59:17 PM PST by Enterprise
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To: The Cuban

The article mentions thirty children without naming their sex. The article talks about the specifics of one case which involved the sexual enslavement of two girls.

12 posted on 12/17/2005 3:12:41 PM PST by Galveston Grl (Getting angry and abandoning power to the Democrats is not a choice.)
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To: Galveston Grl

No. They mention the word girl

13 posted on 12/17/2005 3:13:58 PM PST by The Cuban
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To: wagglebee
"Prostitution" is imposable without customers, I kept seeing the words "truck stop" in the article. Seems to me that a law enforcement effort focused on recruiting truck drivers as a source of information would not be a waste of time.



14 posted on 12/17/2005 3:27:13 PM PST by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: The Cuban

Lezzies need sex too.

15 posted on 12/17/2005 3:40:41 PM PST by razorback-bert
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To: The Cuban

Take an English reading comprehension class and get back to me.

16 posted on 12/17/2005 3:49:19 PM PST by Galveston Grl (Getting angry and abandoning power to the Democrats is not a choice.)
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To: ThinkDifferent

I urge readers to compare this initiative by Alberto Gonzales to his counterpart from the Clinton administration, Janet Reno, who waged war on fundamentalist Christians who might be abusing children in a religious cult.

It astounds me that David Koresh was not simply arrested at one of the local bars where he hung out.

17 posted on 12/17/2005 3:54:59 PM PST by bukkdems
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To: Galveston Grl
"A grand jury in Camden, N.J., indicted eight people Wednesday on charges that they conspired to recruit girls to be prostitutes in Atlantic City, N.J., Las Vegas and New York, according to court documents."

"In Detroit, a grand jury charged four Ohio residents with forcing two girls, 14 and 15, to have sex at a truck stop in Michigan.

"In Pennsylvania, 16 people have been charged for their roles in taking girls as young as 12 to work as prostitutes at truck stops"

The article is clear that young girls were being recruited or being forced into prostitution in several different cities.

18 posted on 12/17/2005 4:34:05 PM PST by Enterprise
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To: Galveston Grl

Read the article again before posting

19 posted on 12/17/2005 5:21:31 PM PST by The Cuban
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To: wagglebee

There's an article in this month's American Spectator which speaks on this very subject. Hope it's okay to post it here but everyone should also buy the magazine, this month's issue is really good. There's an article about Louis Freeh's book that is a real eyeopener. Anyway, back to the subject at hand:

From this month's American Spectator:

Right Abolitionism

The Bush administration has defended female dignity like no administration before it -- yet another reason the left disdains this presidency.

by Michael J. Horowitz

FIFTY YEARS FROM NOW historians will be writing books about the Bush administration's war on the world's fastest growing form of international crime: the sex trafficking and enslavement of millions of vulnerable women and children within the United States and throughout the world. They will note that the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, which the media of its time ignored, authorized the United States to withdraw foreign aid and international loans from countries complicit in the trafficking trade, and will note that the Bush administration's determined enforcement of the Act began moving those countries to prosecute their trafficking mafias. They will write of how the Bush administration waged war on the shame of America's streets by pressing state and local governments to reverse the near-complete immunity with which pimps, johns, and traffickers had long operated within the United States, and by bringing major federal prosecutions against interstate mafia operators and other prostitution slavers. And they will write of John Miller, the Bush administration's point man in the war against sex trafficking, in the same terms now used to describe the work of Wilberforce, Clarkson, Garrison, and other 19th-century abolitionists who ended the African chattel slave trade.

Those historians will also note the attacks on the Bush administration and Miller from a shrill claque of academic feminists and their radical chic allies -- and by doing so these historians will understand the reasons for the declining state of the 21st-century American left. They will see in the critics' attacks liberal utopianism at its worst -- the belief that until all poverty and all exploitation of the weak has ended, targeted efforts "merely" to ameliorate such "symptoms" as the mafia-conducted destruction of millions of girls and women in the sex trade are distractions from the need to eliminate "root causes." Historians will see in these attacks rhetoric and ideology unhinged from reality, a worship of materialist goals, contempt for traditional values, and a moral stinginess that denies credit for good work to any but political allies.

All of the above, historians will note, produced the bizarre view of the Bush critics that "sex work" is intrinsically no different from housework, farm work, or factory work -- this because the only thing that matters to the leftist critics is equitable pay and reasonable working conditions.

The administration's critics routinely argue that opposition to the legalization of prostitution is rooted in a bluestocking distaste for sex held by repressed Christians and Quisling feminists. They downplay the horrors of prostitution, to the point where a recent article in the Nation mocked today's "sex-slave panic" and used dismissive, ironic quotation marks around the terms "rescuers" and, incredibly, "victims," to make the point that the rescue and victimization of "sex workers" is nothing but a right-wing illusion.

Likewise, a story entitled "Prostitution Gives Me Power" that appeared in the July issue of the woman's magazine Marie Claire glamorously portrayed "sex workers" with photographs accompanied by such captioned quotes as: "In a Lot of Ways, Prostitution is Like Social Work," "Being Judged is the Price I Pay for Sexual Freedom," and "When My Client Trusts Me, I'm Truly in Charge."

Good God Almighty!

CRITICS OF THE ADMINISTRATION'S anti-trafficking initiative ignore heroes like Norma Hotaling, Julie Johnson, Kristy Childs, Kathleen Mitchell, and Vednita Carter -- women who endured years in prostitution and who now rescue battered and decimated girls throughout the United States. They ignore heroes around the world like Juliet Engel in Russia, Pierre Tami in Cambodia, and Sister Eugenia Bonetti in Italy who bravely ignore mafia demands to abandon their anti-trafficking and victim rescue operations. Working with John Miller and other administration leaders, these heroes are increasingly causing policy makers and law enforcement officials across the globe to root out corrupt government officials and prosecute traffickers. Here at home, they lead the growing effort to confront and eliminate what has long been accepted: a world in which hundreds of thousands of girls are forced to "work" 350 days a year for pimps who beat and rape them if they fail to turn in every penny they receive or fail to make $500–$700 per night quotas.

As a consequence, major initiatives are being launched in all parts of the world to make the war against trafficking a significant national priority. And stakes are being driven through the heart of a domestic system in which it is routine for pimps with typical three girl "stables" to clear $500,000 to $700,000 per year, and for "successful" pimps with larger "stables" to clear well over a million dollars annually.

Likewise, U.S. law enforcement officials are beginning to prosecute Asian mafia gangsters for the massage parlors they now openly operate in the shadow of the White House, state capitols, and local police precincts, at which physically and psychologically enslaved girls are compelled to engage in 8-10 hour-long "sessions" per day where brutality is a common add-on to "mere" sex.

Blind to the possibility or enraged by the reality that George Bush and his dreaded anti-abortion friends are on the caring side of a women's issue, the critics engage in facts-be-damned sellouts of the abused women they purport to serve. And they do so by ignoring findings of scholars like Donna Hughes and Melissa Farley that 85 percent of girls and women in U.S. prostitution routinely endure rape and assault as part of their "work"; that nine of every ten seek escape from the bondage and emotional capture they suffer at the hands of their "daddies"; that most were sexually abused before entering prostitution; and that the average age of entry into prostitution in the United States is less than 16 years old.

Instead, the critics endorse the big lie of Pretty Woman and act as if the Julia Roberts character exists beyond Hollywood. The critics routinely seek "sex worker unions," government-trafficker condom distribution partnerships, and government regulation -- as if written contracts or OSHA-mandated ergonomic mattresses could ever trump the ability of pimps to exploit the abused and psychologically manipulable runaway girls they prey upon.

THE CRITICS ARE ALSO TOO BLINDED by their own illusions to realize how closely they ape 19th- century apologists for slavery. John Miller recently described those apologists as people who argued, "'We must get the slaves better... ventilation, doctors [and] food,'" and, when such alleged reforms were in place, "reported back to the queen of England that the slaves were happy."

On the other hand, the Bush administration and John Miller have taken their lessons from people who have actually lived "the life," and they have been moved to action by such poignant accounts of prostitution as the one recently sent to Congress by "survivor" leaders who run programs to rescue others from the horrors they endured:

All of us were raped and abused through prostitution -- some even as children; some of us were trafficked throughout the U.S. as children and adults; some of us were adults suffering from untreated childhood abuse; and some of us were adults facing life-threatening circumstances (trying to escape a stalker/rapist, trying to get away from a violent partner, trying to provide food and/or shelter for ourselves and our children) when persons posing as friends recruited us into the sex trade by presenting prostitution as a solution. We were told things like, "It's only for a little while; you'll be able to quit any time you want; you'll finally have control over who does it to you (especially effective on sex abuse survivors, which most of us are); I'll keep you safe; you'll be able to go to school, start a boutique, etc." -- fill in the blank. And then of course, after we crossed the line, our worlds changed forever. ALL of us had friends who didn't make it out alive. And for some of us, it took a long time to grasp that those who presented themselves as friends in our most vulnerable moments, were, in fact, pimps and madams -- people who didn't even have a problem, for example, selling us to johns who intended violent acts as long as the purchasers paid extra. After all, we were only viewed as commodities and worst of all, we believed it.

This is the real face of prostitution, and will always be so. How revealing that radical feminist critics work up endless spleen against George Bush yet show little anger toward the predators who keep women and children in the grip of terror. How sad that their politics have morally corrupted them in the manner described by Melissa Farley:

[The critics] declare... that [we] are tainted by guilt by association. Evangelicals and feminists. If any cause is endorsed by the Right -- if we agree with them on anything -- then we are "in bed with them." Object to child pornography? Oops, so does the Christian Right, gotcha. Favor strong laws against prostitution and trafficking? Oops, so does George Bush, gotcha. This adolescent logic trumps carefully articulated policies based on years of evidence-gathering and analysis.

While this goes on, John Miller, the well-liked and deceptively understated former Republican congressman from Seattle who runs the State Department's Trafficking in Persons Office and chairs the inter-agency Senior Policy Operating Group that coordinates all federal anti-trafficking grants and policies, is busily making history. He is causing radical reversals of longtime government indifference to and complicity in sex trafficking. He is taking on an American "pimp culture" whose present glamorization poisons the underclass ghettoes where the pimps preen and serve as role models for the young. He is unraveling well-financed plans to legalize prostitution throughout the world.

In the process, Miller is earning massive goodwill for the United States in country after country. A recent Times of India editorial -- which argued that "If Washington's hectoring galvanises New Delhi into action, it would be a signal service to the millions who are living in slavery" -- is typical of recent reactions in such countries as Russia, Japan, Greece, and Israel.

On the domestic side, administration anti-trafficking efforts are now galvanizing domestic law enforcement authorities to end the immunity of pimps and massage parlor operators from criminal prosecution. The FBI has organized a dedicated and sophisticated unit to address the issue, and the Civil Rights and Criminal Divisions of the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and other federal agencies have initiated coordinated money laundering, tax evasion, and RICO prosecutions against major interstate traffickers. Tough follow-up initiatives are being actively planned.

THE IMPETUS FOR ALL THIS has come directly from the President, whose 2003 National Security Policy Directive 22 instructed all federal agencies to put the United States squarely on the "abolitionist" side of the issue. Critically, the President has backed up his talk with action, and has regularly sided with Miller in intra-administration battles over whether to rebuke friendly countries complicit in trafficking.

The trafficking issue still flies beneath the radar screen of the American media, but it won't for long. The Bush administration's rescue of millions of vulnerable, brutalized girls here and throughout the world is too powerful a story to be long ignored.

There's a lesson in this for the Democrats and mainstream feminists who have inadequately confronted their "prostitution gives me power" cohorts and who have failed to deal with the epidemic scourge of trafficking with the passion and priority it deserves. Before they know it, they may find that women's issues have been significantly redefined and that even to pro-abortion voters the abortion issue has lost its singular flagship status. More ominously, they may wake to find that the loyalties of many grateful soccer moms, and others, have gone -- gasp -- to the Republicans and conservatives who fought the sex trade while they looked the other way.

Michael J. Horowitz (the author) is a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute.

20 posted on 12/17/2005 6:45:21 PM PST by Auntie Mame (The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.--WC)
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