33 children were rescued from sex slavery in California
The FBI has reported the rescue of 33 minors from the captivity of sex traffickers. The rescue operation lasted almost two weeks with the participation of more than 2 dozen partner agencies.
“Of the 33 children recovered, eight were being sexually exploited at the time of recovery. Two were recovered multiple times during the operation while on the “track,” a common term used to describe a known location for commercial sex trafficking. It is not uncommon for victims who are rescued to return to commercial sex trafficking either voluntarily or by force, fraud, or coercion. This harmful cycle highlights the challenges victims face and those faced by law enforcement when attempting to keep victims from returning to an abusive situation. Victims may not self-identify as being trafficked or may not even realize they’re being trafficked,” the press release says.
To date, it is known that 1 person was arrested. The suspect's name and photo were not disclosed.
“The FBI considers human trafficking modern day slavery and the minors engaged in commercial sex trafficking are considered victims,” said Assistant Director Johnson. “While this operation surged resources over a limited period of time with great success, the FBI and our partners investigate child sex trafficking every day of the year and around the clock.”
Some of the victims were arrested for misdemeanor crimes such as violating probation or robbery, authorities said. One child was discovered to be the victim of a noncustodial parental kidnapping, NBC News reported.
Image: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) / Flickr