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Human Trafficking in Nebraska -- Action and Awareness

Injustice in our own backyard
by

H Buell

on 17 October 2013

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Transcript of Human Trafficking in Nebraska -- Action and Awareness

injustice in our own backyard
Human Trafficking
in Nebraska
History of Slavery in NE
1855: There were 13 known slaves in Nebraska.
1860: Nebraska legislators didn't have enough votes to pass an anti-slavery law.
Legislators are said to have opposed anti-slavery laws because "slavery was not a large problem in Nebraska"
1861: the Territorial Legislature passed anti-slavery laws and Nebraska became a slave free state, overriding a governor veto.
What is Human Trafficking?
Trafficking in Lincoln
Escort Services
Four Obstacles to
Becoming a Slave Free State
Human Trafficking in Nebraska
NFA Research Project
Grew up in Lincoln, graduated high school in 2010
Attended college at SCC for music
Lured into prostitution for a record deal
Pimp put her on several escort websites
Required her to make a daily income quota or face the consequences
Psychological, physical and sexual abuse
Threats of harm against mom if she left
Ashley's Story
Escorts don't have to hide...
They advertise!
Diamonds Midwest has the most developed advertising presence online
Agency claims to operate in Lincoln, Omaha, Council Bluffs, and will travel for the right price
Owners are Clifton and Amerilla Wagoner
Clifton had multiple felony charges, died in prison.
Studied online advertisements for escorts on Backpage to gauge the scope of human trafficking in Lincoln and surrounding areas
During study 17 possible minors were advertised
1517 advertisements were recorded for the Lincoln area
At least 310 different individuals were listed
Ads with local area codes comprised 62% of the listings.
Of those 62%, about half were local escort agencies, 29% were out-of-state area codes, and the rest had no phone number listed
The largest number of out-of-state area codes were located in Sacramento, CA and Houston, TX.
Listings of Nebraska escorts were found in cities such as St. Louis, Chicago, and Kansas City
Average advertised age of a girl on Backpage was 24 years old. However, it is likely that the actual age is much lower
June 21, 2011 to November 24, 2011
Obstacle #1:
1
2
3
4
SOLUTIONS ARE DIFFICULT AND COMPLICATED
Obstacle #2:
HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS AN
EXTREMELY COMPLEX SYSTEM
December 2008: Leonard Russell was found guilty of two counts of human trafficking for harboring, transporting and coercing two Nebraska girls to perform commercial sexual activities including performing at strip clubs. The girls were 14 and 15 and had run away from a group home in Fremont.
First Conviction of Nebraska Human Trafficking Decided in Iowa Court
Obstacle #3:
DIFFICULTY OF IDENTIFYING
HUMAN TRAFFICKING
BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
Most human trafficking victims are fearful, typically distrust law enforcement, and won't self-identify as victims. The Governor's Task Force on Human Trafficking is developing a curriculum for criminal justice agencies and their employees. This curriculum was completed and recommended to the legislature on December 1, 2012. The training will focus on:

State and Federal laws regarding human trafficking
Methods used to identify victims, including appropriate questioning techniques
Methods for prosecuting human traffickers
Methods to increase collaboration with non-governmental organizations and social service organizations
Obstacle #4:
SCOPE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
IN NEBRASKA IS UNKNOWN
The extent to which human trafficking is prevalent in this state
The scope of efforts being taken to prevent human trafficking from occurring
The services available to victims of human trafficking in this state
The limitations upon victims who wish to come forward and seek medical attention
The potential to stop human trafficking
The potential to promote recovery, protect families and children who may be profoundly impacted by such abuse, and to save lives.
These are the stated goals of the
Investigative Sub-committee of the
Governor's Human Trafficking Task Force
Human Trafficking
has many forms
labor
trafficking
sex
trafficking
organ
trafficking
Human Trafficking Affects
Many Different Groups of People
children
women
minorities
low-income
men
teens
middle class
students
runaways
homeless
immigrants
Human Trafficking Involves
Three Main Actors
VICTIMS
BUYERS
OWNERS
THE
SOLUTION
LAW
ENFORCEMENT
VICTIM
RESTORATION
SERVICES
LEGISLATION
must include
PUBLIC
AWARENESS
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery in which people profit from exploiting others through force, fraud, coercion or deception.
The U.S. government has identified human trafficking as the fastest growing global criminal industry.
Human trafficking is tied with illegal arms trade in second place, with the drug trade in first place.
- University of Pennsylvania-School of Social Work
The average age of entry into prostitution in the United States.
12-14
50%
Percentage of transnational human trafficking victims who are children.
-Trafficking In Persons Report 2007
-Trafficking In Persons Report 2007
Percentage of transnational human trafficking victims who are female.
80%
17,500
Estimated number of foreign nationals trafficked into the United States to be used in the sex trade or as domestic/agricultural slaves every year.
-U.S. Department of Justice
-University of Pennsylvania-School of Social Work
estimated number of American children at serious risk for sexual exploitation
244,000
Average price of a slave today. By comparison, the average price of a slave in the American South in 1850 is $40,000 in today’s money.
- www.freetheslaves.net
$90
HOW
CAN
YOU
help?
Get Educated
#1
Learn more about human trafficking (
www.projectrescue.com
)
Download or request the latest Trafficking in Persons in Report from the US Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking
Sign up for the latest news and information about sex trafficking from the Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking (IAST) at
www.iast.net
or other forms of human trafficking at
www.humantrafficking.org
.
Learn the importance of buying fair trade or slave free products (
www.fairtrade.net
)
#2
Educate Others
#3
Advocate
Find out ways you can help advocate for victims.
Combat demand for victims of sex trafficking. Work in your community to seek the arrest of buyers of commercial sex, and encourage law enforcement to punish perpetrators and protect victims.
Contact your state senator to encourage him/her to pass human trafficking legislation
#4
Report it to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline at
1(888)3737-888
, or the U.S. Department of Justice Trafficking in Persons Complaint Line at
1(888)428-7581
.
Report Cases
Who is Nebraska Family Alliance?
established in 1988
longest standing pro-family
organization in Nebraska
Talk about human trafficking with friends and family. Recommend books or movies to help them learn more.
Post signs in public places. Advertisements in libraries, rest stops, and gas stations with hotline and help information in multiple languages will help victims find their way to safety. Posters are available from the US Department of Health and Human Services at
www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/index.html
.
Facilitate a small group to learn more about the issue and discuss ways to get involved.
#5
Pray
www.nebraskafamilyalliance.org
Commit yourself to regular prayer for trafficking issues in the United States and around the world.
Set aside one meal every week to fast and pray for victims of sex trafficking.
Organize a group of friends to pray regularly.
LB 255
Add human trafficking of a child to the definition of child abuse, revise human trafficking definitions, and create definition of child labor trafficking.
LB 314
LB 315
Creates a permit requirement for escort services.
Redefines massage therapy licensure
Omaha
Lincoln
victims of human trafficking need not be present to testify at a trial against their perpetrator if the victim has been threatened not to testify.
A child under the age of 18 shall be immune from prosecution for prostitution.
#1
#2
#3
#1
November 2012: Johnelle Lewis Bell was found guilty of 12 counts of sex trafficking and interstate prostitution. Several of his former victims testified that he had lured them in by pretending to be their boyfriend, yet once they engaged in prostitution for him he took all of their money, severely beat and even whipped them, and seriously threatened their lives, their families, and their children. Bell centered his operation in Arkansas and trafficked women in IA, KS, GA, TX, and MD.
New Jersey Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking in Nebraska
February 2012: Parrish Jason Casebier, 39, his girlfriend Cheryl Elaine Tucker, 41, and Kentrell Vertner, 26, were found guilty of trafficking 4 women. Casebier lead the operation and lured the women with false promises and coerced them into prostitution by phyiscally and sexually abusing them and threatening them with abuse. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, Cheryl Tucker recieved 10 years, and Vertner was sentenced to 18 months for transporting victims.
Three Omahans Convicted of Sex Trafficking and Prostitution
January 2013: Michelle Randall of Upland was found guilty of two counts of human trafficking, conspiracy to commit sexual assault of a child, and child pornography for arranging numerous sexual acts between men and her 14-year old and 7-year old daughters. Police learned she was prostituting the girls after Randall posted a personal ad on Craigslist.
Nebraska Woman Sentenced to
90 years for Sex Trafficking a Child
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