Minnesota, and particularly the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, currently has a crisis concerning the exploitation of children for the purposes of sex trafficking. In fact, the FBI has listed the Twin Cities as one of 13 cities throughout the nation where child prostitution occurs with high-frequency. Here are some important facts about these particular types of crimes involving children:
— A study conducted back in 2010 estimated that child sex traffickers sell a minimum of 213 girls every month in Minnesota. That works out to be an average of a girl being sold for sex five times a day. Typically, traffickers arrange these meetings using escort services or other internet sites.
— The average age for a girl forced into prostitution to be victimized for the first time is between 12 to 14 years old.
— Many people wrongly associate sex trafficking with something that only occurs in underdeveloped countries. A look at statistics compiled between 2008 and 2010 revealed that 83 percent of victims of sex trafficking were also United States citizens.
— Money is the driving force behind the majority of sex trafficking. According to one concerned agency known as the Polaris Project, an average pimp working with only three girls or women could expect to generate anywhere between $500 or $1,500 per night. To put that into perspective, when those numbers are extrapolated over the course of a year that pimp could expect to make over half a million dollars or more each year tax-free.
There are a few things you should know if you are currently facing federal sex trafficking charges. The government takes the exploitation of children very seriously and aggressively prosecutes these types of cases. Unlike their state counterparts, federal prosecutors have access to better funding, greater resources and overall better skilled personnel.
Fortunately, you have the right to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney of your own choosing. An attorney can challenge the accuracy and trustworthiness of the physical evidence and testimony prosecutors may be attempting to use against you. An attorney can also challenge the legality of your arrest. In some cases, an unlawfully obtained search warrant may invalidate the evidence that police have seized from you, your vehicle or your residence.
Source: Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, “A Women’s Foundation campaign to end the trafficking of Minnesota girls,” accessed July 23, 2015