June 2, 2017
In response to being ranked 15th in the country for the most reported cases of human trafficking in 2016, Virginia is introducing a new law promoting education in schools about trafficking for pertinent staff members. The implementation of House Bill 2282 into Virginia schools will help protect and educate the youngest and most vulnerable victims of this heinous crime.
October 6, 2016
After years of Backpage profiting millions of dollars from trafficking adults and children through escort ads posted on the site, CEO Carl Ferrer was “arrested on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping.”
September 28, 2016
Six people from Bristol, VA, including Virginia State Trooper Randy Osborne, are charged with solicitation of prostitution after responding to a Craigslist ad.
July 20, 2016
“Virginia law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are teaming up to fight human trafficking.” Training sessions will educate state law enforcement, activists, and community stakeholders how to recognize a victim in need of intervention and how to respond.
June 29, 2016
Terrell Banker is sentenced to 13 years in federal prison, and co-defendant Laura Cook is sentenced to over four years in prison. The woman initiated contact with the 17-year-old victim, took her into her home, used illegal drugs with her, and eventually introduced her to Banker, who prostituted the runaway girl as a way to earn money.
June 17, 2016
Sex trafficker Brandon Thomas admits to running a prostitution business that operated out of hotels in Roanoke and Charlottesville. For nearly half a year, the 25-year-old trafficker “beat and threatened to beat the women, and took advantage of their drug dependencies, to compel their prostitution services.”
February 27, 2016
14-year-old Falon Smith of Stuarts Draft almost became a victim of sex trafficking when a 28-year-old man from Harrisonburg started a conversation with her over texting. After getting her parents and law enforcement involved, the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office investigated the situation and caught her predator, who planned to “abduct Smith to Mexico and make her a sex slave, or to bring her back to Harrisonburg, rape her and then kill her.”
February 14, 2015
In New Kent County, a couple is charged with federal crime of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. A report from a truck driver leads police to find a disheveled, malnourished 20-year-old sex trafficking victim with puncture wounds and numerous burns on her abdomen, groin and back.
January 26, 2015
Street Ransom’s road to opening Virginia’s first crisis shelter for sex trafficking victims under 18 years old.
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