National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse


NAASCA Highlights

EDITOR'S NOTE: Occasionally we bring you articles from local newspapers, web sites and other sources that constitute but a small percentage of the information available to those who are interested in the issues of child abuse and recovery from it.

We present articles such as this simply as a convenience to our readership ...

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  Here are a few recent stories related to the kinds of issues we cover on the web site. They'll represent a small percentage of the information available to us, the public, as we fight to provide meaningful recovery services and help for those who've suffered child abuse. We'll add to and update this page regularly.

We'll also present stories about the criminals and criminal acts that impact our communities all across the nation. The few we place on this page are the tip of the iceberg, and we ask you to check your local newspapers and law enforcement sites. Stay aware. Every extra set of "eyes and ears" makes a big difference.

March 2011 - Recent Crime News - News from other times

MARCH - Week 2


  Officers share frustrations of not finding missing persons

March 13, 2011


As investigators continue searching for clues to the locations of two area residents recently reported missing, law enforcement officials say they're as frustrated as anyone else at the lack of resolution.

And a man who was last seen over 10 years ago hasn't been forgotten, investigators emphasize.

"I can assure you the Bedford County Sheriff's Department and the others involved -- the Shelbyville Police Department, Rutherford County Sheriff's Department and TBI -- are putting out 110 percent effort," Sheriff Randall Boyce said.

Boyce's force is taking the lead in attempts to locate Shelley Mook, a Harris Middle School teacher who was last seen Feb. 28 when she dropped off her daughter at her ex-husband's home north of Shelbyville on her way to Murfreesboro. Mook, 24, didn't arrive for an appointment and her burned car was found outside Murfreesboro later in the night.

Shelbyville police continue to seek Bobby Smelcer, who was last in contact with his family the weekend before Thanksgiving. His home was found with doors open and all personal effects, including billfold and cell phone, intact.

The cases are not thought to be related, authorities said.

Antonio Taylor of Shelbyville was last seen in 2000. SPD Detective Sgt. Brian Crews said his department still talks to Taylor's grandmother or other family members about once a month or if and when any lead is followed up on.

"Whenever we make an arrest of anyone who may have known Antonio we ask them if they have any information," SPD Detective Lt. Pat Mathis said.

"The biggest clue in a missing person's case is the body itself," Crews said. "A case is at a standstill and we're definitely hampered (when we don't know where the person is.)"

Crews was not indicating that any of the missing persons are necessarily thought to be dead.

"It's frustrating because you feel like the families believe that you aren't doing anything," Crews said. "I mourn with the families, knowing that their loved ones may be out there somewhere. I woke up thinking about that on Saturday morning (March 5) when it was so cold and dreary."

Smelcer, 52, wasn't reported missing for five days after he was last seen, police said. TBI crime scene investigators found only a few spots of dried blood near a door of his residence and told police they were not necessarily from a violent act.

Officers and family members said they have conducted ground searches near areas where Smelcer was known to frequent, including Warners Bridge Road where he regularly walked, with no success.


  Men charged with rape, human trafficking


The Wichita Eagle

The 13-year-old girl saw the black Cadillac Escalade pull up to a QuikTrip, and she climbed inside with a man she had never met.

She had been told by another teen that this man would treat her better than the other pimps in Wichita.

Last week, the girl mumbled through tears in Sedgwick County District Court to tell a judge how men bought and sold her for sex.

The men she accused also were in court last week. Prosecutors say it's the first time they have charged both a pimp who they say provided the child and the "john," who they say paid for her.

Donald L. Davis, 48, and James M. Cochran, 54, stood silent as a judge entered pleas of not guilty on their behalf. If convicted, they face charges that could send them to prison for the rest of their lives.

Davis is charged with rape and human trafficking. Cochran faces three charges of rape. Their attorneys declined comment at their arraignment.

The girl is one of hundreds across the city and perhaps among 2 million around the United States exploited through commercial sex.

Davis is charged with rape and human trafficking. Cochran faces three charges of rape. Their attorneys declined comment at their arraignment.

The girl is one of hundreds across the city and perhaps among 2 million around the United States exploited through commercial sex, officials think.

Girls and boys, on average, enter the sex trade between the ages of 11 to 13, according the U.S. Department of Justice.

They're exploited through strip clubs, pornography and escort services. Investigators at the Wichita-Sedgwick County Exploited and Missing Child Unit say they have tracked local girls being taken to cities such as Atlanta, Dallas and Las Vegas to work in the sex industry.

Wichita is among less than a dozen cities to bring such serious charges against those accused of buying and selling teenagers.

Prosecutors and police in south-central Kansas are also rethinking the way they see the youths who were once called prostitutes and charged as criminals.

"We try to stress to them... they are victims," said Anne Lund, a social worker with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. She's assigned to the human trafficking team.

Those who see victims of the sex trade daily have stopped using words like "prostitute."

"Child prostitute is an oxymoron," said Karen Countryman-Roswurm, a former teen runaway who is now a social worker.

"Is a child who's 13 years old emotionally intellectually capable of making a decision such as that? Absolutely not," Countryman-Roswurm said. "Especially when you look at her background."

The girls Risa Rehmert meets through the Street Outreach Program at the Wichita Children's Home say they ran away from beatings and rapes by their family, only to be taken in by pimps who treat them the same way.

"Although they may not express it this articulately, they say, 'People are taking from me at home, so why not make money at it?''' Rehmert said.


In court last week, the 13-year-old testified she knew Davis simply as "Babe."

After picking her up in his Escalade, she said Davis took her to an apartment to have sex with her.

He liked to try out "his girls" first before he sold them, prosecutor Marc Bennett said during his questioning of the girl.

She couldn't describe the apartment.

"I only saw the bedroom," she said.

Davis also had sex with her at his trailer, she testified, where he lived with his girlfriend and their child. He gave the girl, a runaway from the Wichita Children's Home, a place to stay and food. He bought her a pair of shoes, and he let her keep some of the money she made.

The girl said she and Davis would be in the Escalade when he would get a call from his girlfriend. "Mike" wanted to do business.

Davis explained to her prices and how she would collect money, she testified. Kissing cost extra, she said. Then the 13-year-old said he sent her into the house alone.

She testified she took the money and put it in her shoe. "Mike" didn't want to pay extra to kiss her.

In front of others in court, the girl couldn't even talk about the basics of sex.

When Bennett questioned her, she would giggle and hide her face, which turned red.

Bennett, who at 6 feet stood a foot or more taller than the girl, used diagrams of the human body. The girl circled the parts of her body and the parts the men had put inside her. She faced the judge and kept her back turned to the defendants dressed in jail jumpsuits.

When asked to identify "Babe," the girl burst into tears.

She identified Davis as "Babe." She gestured to Cochran as "Mike."

Police had been looking for the girl since Thanksgiving. Authorities said they found her in Davis' trailer on Christmas Eve. They said she had been with Cochran earlier in the day.

That's how they were able to identify and build a case against both men. Police said they always aren't so lucky.

"They don't just come up front and tell you, 'I'm a victim of human trafficking,' " said Officer Kent Bauman of the Exploited and Missing Child Unit. "A lot of times we don't find out this girl's a victim until weeks or months afterwards, and the evidence is gone."

It was officials at the Wichita Children's Home who reported the girl as a runaway and initiated a search for her, not her family.

"So many times, they're not even reported as runaways," said Lund, the social worker, "because nobody misses them."

Beneath the surface

No one knows how many youths are currently involved in the U.S. sex trade.

"These children don't count, and nobody is counting them," wrote Julian Sher in his book, "Somebody's Daughter: The Hidden Story of America's Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them."

Sher found available estimates of children being sold for sex at between 300,000 and 2 million.

"That's obviously a huge gap," Countryman-Roswurm said.

What we do know in Wichita is that the Exploited and Missing Child Unit receives reports on some 1,200 runaways each year.

Now studying for her doctorate in community psychology, Countryman-Roswurm spent 10 years working with runaways and sex trade survivors.

In 2006 she founded the Anti-Sexual Exploitation Roundtable for Community Action in Wichita, which brought together law enforcement, therapists, social services and health care workers.

From 2007 to 2008, Countryman-Roswurm interviewed 250 youths coming through the Wichita Children's Home.

She found:

* 67 percent had been sexually assaulted or raped.

* 46 percent had been offered food, shelter, clothing, money or drugs in exchange for sex.

* 40 percent were "forced, prodded or coerced into trading sex for what they needed to survive."

"Only 6 percent of these youth have the skills or the strength to get away from that situation," Country-Roswurm said. "Which means to me we have to be doing more in our society in regards to prevention."

First, people have to start recognizing there is a problem, she said.

"We say it exists beneath the surface," said Bauman. "It goes on all over our community, but it's something no one wants to talk about."

And it exists, Countryman-Roswurm said, because people are willing to pay for sex with young girls.

False advertising

The 13-year-old girl said she told Davis she was 17.

That's not unusual, researchers say. Girls lie about their age, and pimps provide fake identification so they won't get caught trafficking children.

The girls perform in strip clubs and are made available on Internet "escort services."

"Amateur nights at the strip clubs are big," said Mike Nagy, a police officer who tracks runaways for the Exploited and Missing Child Unit. "On those nights, let's just say they can be lax on checking IDs."

Rehmert interviews girls who have worked in strip bars through the Wichita Children's Home's Street Outreach Program.

"There's always more going on than dancing," Rehmert said one 16-year-old told her.

On the Internet, authorities identified as a main source of advertising for traffickers. In the ads, teen girls lie about their ages. But they use their real pictures.

Both Rehmert and Lund recognize the pictures of girls they know to be minors on Backpage ads.

But even if customers don't know they are buying sex with a minor, they can still get in big trouble.

Cameron and Davis face 25 years to life if they're convicted of rape under Kansas' Jessica's Law. The 2006 law provides severe prison sentences for people having sexual relations with children under the age of 14.

Safe places

The 13-year-old testified she met Davis at a QuikTrip. But the convenience store chain is also the place runways in trouble can find help.

QuikTrip and Wichita fire stations are designated as "Safe Places."

Last year, Rehmert said the Wichita Children's Home received 250 calls from the Safe Places.

"The people who work at QuikTrip see a kid alone or who looks a little suspicious and they call us," Rehmert said. "They're learning what to look for."

If they get the chance to make that contact. Survivors of the sex trade talk about being under "pimp arrest," where they are denied contact with the outside world.

The 13-year-old girl who testified said Davis didn't give her a cell phone. After she had sex and collected the money, she said she would borrow the phone of her customer. She would call Davis, she said, to come pick her up.

Bennett, the prosecutor, said a group of women in the Junior League asked what they could do.

"Keep your eyes open," Bennett said. "If you see a girl at the QuikTrip getting in an Escalade and it doesn't seem right, get a tag number, call 911 and ask someone to check it out."

At the Children's Home, the runaways get warm clothes, food, a place to stay and access to counseling. Some flourish.

"These are really amazing, bright kids," Rehmert said. "All they need is opportunity and hope."

Others leave only to have their half-naked pictures return to

Many have no place to go, other than the Juvenile Detention Facility.

"Good, safe, housing is a real need," Bauman said. "Sometimes, they're safer with us in the JDF than anywhere else."

The 13-year-old who testified last week stayed in detention, charged with prostitution, until authorities could place her in a home. Once she was safe, Bennett dropped the charges.

Countryman-Roswurm said agencies serving youths across the city need to better coordinate their efforts to identify at-risk children.

She also said attitudes about the sex trade need to change.

"People need to see, this can be my daughter; this can be my niece; this can be my sister; this can be my wife," Countryman-Roswurm said.

"But for so long, we've called them prostitutes. They are victims of sexual abuse, and they've been forced and coerced to participate in this form of slavery.

"And that's really what it is."


prostitutes talk to potential customers Prostitution Arrests Nets Five, Including 15-year-old

March 12, 2011

Broome County New York

Five women were arrested in a prostitution sting that included sex trafficking of an underage girl in Broome County. Police have noted a disturbing pattern in which the classified ads website is used to solicit clients for sex acts.

Authorities say that undercover police officers devised an elaborate sting operation to address the growing incidents of children being pimped for sex acts.

Police contend that online classified ads sites, like serve as a launching pad that is rife with scams and prostitution.

Officers set up operations in a local motel and doubled as clients in search of dates with women seeking money in exchange for sex.

The women arrested in the prostitution sting showed up at the motel after arranging a meeting with their supposed dons aka Broome County special investigators.

Police would not elaborate on what led to the actual arrests during the meetings. They, however, must have developed enough probable cause at some point to take five women and one minor into custody.

The women's ages in the prostitution sting were 15 to 35. Six females were actually arrested for misdemeanor prostitution, and the 15-year-old girl--who was brought along for sex acts--was released to her parents. She will be charged, however, in juvenile and/or family court.

In this day and age with advancements in the Internet and social media, women and men taking part in sex-for-hire is on the rise at disturbing rates and magnitudes. The largest rise is in the underage group in which young children are forced into sex trafficking. should follow the lead of another online classified ad site like which has taken proactive and responsible steps in making its site safe for all users.

By adopting best practices, it demonstrates that it is serious about ridding the Internet of sex trafficking and not using it as a launching pad for sex solicitation. Backpage should follow the same example.


Gerald William Carroll Jr. holds a photo of his father,
Gerald William Carroll Sr., missing since 2001.
  Seeking answers to the unknown

Delaware families have a new chance at closure thanks to a national program that uses a database to solve cases that involve unidentified remains and missing persons


The News Journal

Gerald William Carroll Sr. was not always around for his son.

Carroll and his wife separated when 26-year-old Gerald William Carroll Jr. was a year old, causing the child to be placed in foster care.

But the elder Carroll still tried to stay in touch. He called his son almost daily and sometimes took him fishing near New Castle or at the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.

"I had a great relationship with him," said the younger Carroll, who lives in the Newport area.

Interactive map: Missing persons

"We did a lot of fishing and hung out together. He was always very interested in what I learned in school. He was a basic proud father."

All that ended on Oct. 22, 2001, when the elder Carroll went missing after cashing a check at the Penn Mart Shopping Center near New Castle. He was wearing a red flannel jacket and riding a green mountain bike.

His son never stopped wondering about what happened.

During the first couple of years, he was encouraged when strangers called about fliers he had posted in places his father frequented. But he got little news -- or encouragement -- from police.

So Carroll came up with his own theories. In one, his father goes fishing, slips into the water and drowns. Another has his father, who was a paranoid schizophrenic, going off his medicines and ending up in a hospital. He also has darker possibilities that he will not explain -- other than to say they involve foul play.

"If I do think about it too much, I do become emotional," Carroll said, adding he tries not to drink because it makes the memories sharper. "I really don't touch it too much, but when I do ... I'm everywhere crying about it."

To help people like Carroll, Hal Brown, the deputy state medical examiner director, is leading Delaware into a national program designed to help law-enforcement agencies and medical examiners use a database to solve cases involving missing persons and unidentified remains.

The program is intended to speed up the identification process and comfort people like Carroll and relatives of Anne Marie Fahey, whose remains have been missing since she was killed by Tom Capano in 1996.

Brown thought he got a break in Carroll's case on Jan. 4, when a fisherman spotted a skull on the shore of the Delaware River near the Port of Wilmington. He thought it might belong to Carroll or Kathleen Mohn, who has been missing since Dec. 3, 1999, from Upper Merion Township, Pa.

Though the database ruled them out, Brown remains confident it will help solve more missing-persons cases.

As of Jan. 1, 2011, there were more than 7,550 unidentified persons in the U.S. Department of Justice's database -- known as the "National Missing and Unidentified Persons System" or NamUs -- and more than 5,900 missing persons. In Delaware, 24 unidentified remains were entered into NamUs as well as 44 missing-persons cases.

Carroll was among those asked to take advantage of the system.

All he had to do was bring photos of his father and have DNA swabbed from inside his mouth so information could be entered into NamUs.

The online tool has been up since early 2009 to match unidentified people whose remains are buried in potter's fields or are stored in medical examiners' offices or police forensic labs across the nation. The database also helps locate people who disappeared, either by abduction or by choice.

"This presents a real ray of hope for the future," said Dr. Rich Scanlon, NamUs' regional forensic odontologist based in Lewistown, Pa. Because NamUs has all sorts of information on missing persons or unidentified remains available for police or medical examiners, cases once thought to have been impossible to solve have a chance. "We look at NamUs as a forensic safety-deposit box."

Efforts go beyond database

Brown is not limiting his efforts to using the national database. He is also looking for ways to solve the mysteries locally.

In one instance, Brown had intern Phillip Petty go through microfilm to search for information in a 1965 case in which a skull was found on Woodland Beach near Smyrna. Petty, on his own time, came across a 1964 photo in the Evening Journal -- a predecessor of The News Journal -- that caught his eye.

The photo showed rescue crews searching through Augustine Beach at Port Penn. The story described how three fishermen died in a boating accident. As he read on, Petty learned two of the bodies had been recovered. It is unknown what happened to the third body, that of 21-year-old Shirley James Cox.

Brown's office is now searching for Cox's family to see whether his body was recovered. If it was not, they would like to get DNA samples to try to match it to remains in other states.

"I don't want to put him in [NamUs] ... until I can confirm some of this information," Brown said. "There is certainly a passion among everyone in this office to solve these mysteries of the unidentified and be able to return these remains to their families."

Brown's office also is preparing to exhume a body from a potter's field at the Delaware Health and Social Services' Herman M. Holloway Sr. campus. The body of an unidentified woman found in 2002 in an abandoned Wilmington house rests in Plot 563.

But on Friday, Brown was informed a tooth found on the woman provided DNA. Now, Brown will use NamUs to see if there is a link that will identify her.

"If we do identify her, we will exhume her," said Brown. He said the woman's skull was used to make a clay face mold.

Those extra efforts are meaningful to people like Carroll who have been agonizing over solutions.

"I want to know what happened," Carroll said. "I don't want to leave it unknown. I think it would be better. I think I would be able to deal with it a little better."

But even so, when driving through Wilmington, Carroll slows down to look at strangers who resemble his father.

"There's a lot of characters up there that fit his description. If I catch one walking down the road, I always take a closer look."

Unknown proves unsettling

Not everyone is sure about the database.

Shannon Thompson, whose husband Joel went missing during a fishing trip at the Indian River inlet on April 26, doubts it will provide families with any sense of closure.

"In all sincerity, that word is just a lie," she said. "There's nothing that's gonna help in any shape or form. I mean, the people that I know that have lost people out in those waters are still going through the cycle of grief."

Updating the data-collection method is more of a formality than anything useful for families of missing persons, she said.

Police, Coast Guard officials and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control investigated her husband's disappearance, she said, but never updated her on the status of their search. Thompson filed paperwork in September to hold a hearing to officially declare her husband dead so she could collect benefits and pay bills.

The court papers said Thompson died while engaging in extreme fishing, which likely involved tying himself by a safety line to a pole onshore and wearing special cleats to head far out on the wet, uneven rocks of the jetty. He was probably wearing a wetsuit to protect himself from the waves, while leaning out over the water to get his hook where striped bass lurk. All this was done in the dark because that is when the bass are feeding.

"I know darn well that if Joel was on this earth right now, he would not be doing this," Thompson said. She said she participated in having her mouth swabbed by the medical examiner out of a sense of obligation.

Dr. Carol A. Tavani, a board-certified neuropsychiatrist and executive director of Christiana Psychiatric Services, said people whose loved ones vanish often deal with the unknown -- even if all signs point to the person being dead.

"The unknown is always unsettling," Tavani said. "There is always the question of 'Is there any possibility that he is alive or maybe didn't want to come back?'"

Samples give family control

Murder cases in which the body is never recovered are especially hard on families, said Kathleen Fahey-Hosey, sister of Anne Marie Fahey.

Fahey's body was weighted with an anchor and dumped into the Atlantic Ocean off Stone Harbor, N.J., on June 28, 1996.

"It's very difficult to lose someone and never have that sense of peace because it is always hanging out there," Fahey-Hosey said.

In cases when the victim's DNA is not available, it is important to get samples from family members, Brown said. That is because of the recent discovery of mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on from the female and enables forensic scientists to match remains to a living maternal-related family member, even if they are separated by generations.

"This now allows us to be able to connect biologically related family to our unidentified remains," Brown said. "And now, with the NamUs initiative, the ability for law-enforcement officers around the country to now be able to communicate, as well as share reports, radiographs, X-rays, photographs, instantly ... this is another tremendous, tremendous advantage."

Fahey-Hosey said she is unsure whether her sister's body will turn up but is willing to provide DNA samples to NamUS.

If something were to wash up, she said, family could bury the remains with their parents and brother, allowing the family to properly celebrate Fahey's life.

"It's giving the family a choice," Fahey-Hosey said. "It allows the family members to have some control over a horrible situation."

Additional Facts

7,550 unidentified persons

5,900 missing persons


Ronald Norman
  Michigan compiling public database of missing persons

Police agencies file DNA, tips to aid families in search


The Detroit News

Detroit — A couple of weeks ago, Donald Norman didn't know if his missing brother was dead or alive.

Now he's planning his first trip to the Monroe County cemetery where his identical twin has been buried for nearly two decades.

Norman's brother, Ronald, vanished from a Detroit nursing home in December 1991. The following spring, his unidentified body was found floating in Lake Erie in Monroe Township. He was listed as a John Doe and buried.

Michigan State Police investigators were able to connect Norman and the John Doe and bring his family closure through a new database that can cross-reference missing-persons files with unidentified remains.

"I'd been really sick and depressed for a long time," said Donald Norman, 61, a former Detroiter, who now lives outside of Dayton, Ohio. "I'm so glad that they found him."

The case is the first one cracked by state authorities since they began using the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System — or NamUs — in July.

Currently, about 3,000 people are reported missing in Michigan. Of those, 143 — including the disappearances of three young Morenci boys and Westland teen Carlee Morse, who vanished from outside her family's apartment — are logged in the database. The system is an investigative tool available to medical examiners, law enforcement and the public. And it's free.

State Police Trooper Sarah Krebs handles NamUs entries for her department and expects even more breaks will come if families of the missing join with authorities to enter and enhance missing-person profiles by submitting DNA reference samples to be matched against an index of unidentified remains.

She's organized a unique event aimed at doing just that.

The State Police and other Michigan law enforcement agencies have joined forces to solicit family members and friends of Michigan's missing to gather in May at Ford Field in downtown Detroit for a free data-collection event and vigil. The program, "Missing in Michigan," is the first of its kind in the state — possibly the country — that commemorates missing loved ones and allows authorities and relatives to log new tips, collect DNA and update and create missing person profiles on NamUs.

"It's the first database accessible to the public for missing-persons files ever. It helps us categorize cases and be accountable for them," Krebs said. "We've always known unidentified remains are linked to missing-persons cases. But connecting those dots is hard. The public can be useful and beneficial to us."

Program boosts awareness

Krebs said mobile command trailers will be stationed at Ford Field for DNA collection, data entry and other services. The day will conclude with a candlelight vigil and photograph slideshow.

The NamUs database is funded through a cooperative agreement from the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and U.S. Department of Justice. It began launching in phases in 2007 and was fully searchable by 2009.

Currently, 65 law enforcement individuals in Michigan and seven medical examiners and coroners have NamUs accounts.

"Agencies in Michigan that have learned of NamUs are very receptive of the program and the free benefits it has to offer their agency," said Rose Sacchetti, regional system specialist for NamUs. "Raising awareness of the program is beneficial not only for law enforcement, but for families searching for their missing loved one."

In Ronald Norman's case, the database provided 157 possible links to unidentified remains in the United States.

The timeline, physical description and dental characteristics between Norman and the John Doe were similar. The match was verified with a review of in-depth medical records documenting a corresponding skull fracture that both men shared. Norman had sustained a head injury following a crash in 1977.

Heather Holland, director of the Big Rapids-based nonprofit TrackMissing, which assists police and families in locating missing persons, hopes the program will draw more attention to the cause.

"This will act as a stepping stone to recognize the need that's out there and how many people are missing," said Holland, who aided police in the identification of Norman. "People don't realize how serious the situation is and how many people out there are unidentified and sit in morgues or pauper's graves."

Families can find comfort

In January, Michigan had 86 unidentified persons. Krebs said more than 70 are entered in NamUs.

Among the missing are three Morenci boys and a 16-year-old girl last seen outside her family's Westland apartment. In each case, charges have been levied in connection with the disappearances.

Andrew, 9; Alexander, 7; and Tanner Skelton, 5, went missing on Thanksgiving Day. Their father, John Skelton, has said he gave his sons to an "organization" to keep them from his wife. He's charged with kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.

In the Westland case, Carlee Morse stepped outside her family's apartment near Warren and Venoy on Aug. 20. She never returned. Two men were arrested in December in her death. Nicholas Cottrell, 22, was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of second-degree murder. His co-defendant, 19-year-old Justin Yoshikawa, faces a first-degree murder trial on claims he strangled Morse and discarded her body.

While the NamUs system does not store DNA, it does tell authorities if it's available and which lab conducted the analysis, said B.J. Spamer, program manager in the Forensic Services Unit with the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas. The center has provided 300 DNA kits and will collect the family reference samples in May and process them.

The center has uploaded more than 5,000 family reference profiles and approximately 2,600 DNA profiles. They've had 550 identifications.

"We are locating missing persons who've been gone for decades," Spamer said. "It's never too late to come in and give information on your missing person and give a DNA sample."

Spamer said the family reference DNA will only be compared against unidentified remains for the purpose of locating a missing loved one.

Connie Johnson's sister, Cindy Zarzycki, went missing in 1986 at age 13. Her body was found in 2008 after Arthur Ream was convicted of luring her to a Dairy Queen and murdering her.

Johnson, who has been recruited as a speaker for the Ford Field event, says it'll be a good place for families to find comfort.

"When somebody is missing you don't really have a support system," she said.

"I hope this day brings a little bit of healing for people too. They are not alone."

Additional Facts To find the missing

When: 4-9 p.m. May 7

Where: Ford Field, 2000 Brush St., Detroit

The Missing in Michigan Event offers law enforcement and families a chance to submit DNA and create NamUs profiles. Investigators will take tips on old cases, conduct interviews and take reports on new cases.
The program features guest speakers and child safety information. It concludes with a candlelight vigil.

Who should come:
Families and friends of the missing, law enforcement and the communities and organizations that assist in missing-persons cases.

What to bring:
Families are encouraged to wear yellow and bring updated photographs of the missing to be scanned on site, as well as T-shirts or posters and literature to honor the missing.

To have your loved one commemorated in the ceremony, RSVP by May 1 to Michigan State Police Trooper Sarah Krebs at (313) 215-0675 or


Court decides the criminalization of the sex-trade
industry violates Canada's guarantee of basic
equality rights by discriminating against women.
  Group makes Charter argument for intervener status in sex-trade case

The criminalization of the sex-trade industry violates Canada's guarantee of basic equality rights by discriminating against women by gender and occupation, Ontario's top court heard Friday.

TORONTO — The criminalization of the sex-trade industry violates Canada's guarantee of basic equality rights by discriminating against women by gender and occupation, Ontario's top court heard Friday.

Maggie's, a support group for prostitutes, argued that it should be granted official intervener status in an upcoming appeal case, one that could result in the legalization of sex work across the province, so it can fully address the claim.

"To close our eyes to this argument would risk an injustice," lawyer Michael Kotrly told Associate Chief Justice Dennis O'Connor of the Ontario Court of Appeal.

The Toronto-based group says that laws prohibiting sex work discriminate against prostitutes, the majority of whom are women, and go against section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This section outlines that all Canadians are equal and protected before and under the law despite race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

According to the group, it's an issue that should be open for discussion when a five-judge panel convenes in mid-June to reconsider a decision last year that struck down three prostitution-related laws as unconstitutional.

Last fall, Ontario Superior Court Justice Susan Himel found that the laws that ban operating or working in a brothel, communicating for the purpose of prostitution and living off the avails of prostitution endanger the lives of sex workers by forcing them to work underground.

Both the federal and Ontario governments are appealing the decision, which could essentially legalize the industry in the province and might pave the way for other jurisdictions across Canada to do the same.

Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to weigh in on a similar constitutional challenge in British Columbia.

Sheri Kiselbach, a former sex worker in Vancouver, argued that decriminalization will allow prostitutes to openly report problems and concerns to the police.

Meanwhile, one of the arguments in the Ontario case is that there should be no obligations for the government to provide safety measures for those who work in an illegal trade. The appeal also cautions that irreparable harm may arise if the sex trade were legalized in Canada, including a possible increase in sex tourism and human trafficking rings.

The Ontario court has set aside five days, beginning June 13, to hear the appeal.

Sandra Nishikawa, a lawyer for the Attorney General of Canada, opposes intervener status for Maggie's, citing that it's too late in the proceedings for the court to adequately address this new constitutional challenge.

"Maggie's (is) attempting to change the focus and scope of the appeal," she said.

The government lawyers argued that allowing the challenge to go ahead could lead to the case being jeopardized and prejudiced,

Megan Stephens, a lawyer for Ontario's Attorney General, added that the hundreds of pages of documents and evidence gathered for the original decision are not sufficient to argue the equality issue.

If the lawyers had known they would have to consider this argument, they would have compiled more data on the demographics of prostitutes in Canada and compare it with other sex-trade workers such as strippers and escorts.

O'Connor will make a decision on the application Monday.

Seven other groups, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the Prostitutes of Ottawa/Gatineau Work Education and Resists have already been approved as interveners in the appeal.


U.S. Girls Ages 11 to 14 at Risk for Sex Trafficking, Panel Says

by Susanne Walker

Mar 11, 2011

Between 100,000 and 300,000 girls in the U.S. are subject to sexual trafficking every year, and few cases of child rape are ever prosecuted, said Malika Saada Saar, founder of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights.

Girls between ages 11 and 14 are particularly at risk, and more American-born than foreign-born children are being bought and sold for sex in this country, Saar said in a panel discussion at the Women in the World conference in New York City today.

Actor Ashley Judd, who was also on the panel, recounted a story of a 14-year old girl she knows who was separated from her family in the Atlanta airport, the country's busiest. She was located five days later after having been picked up by a man and forced to have sex with men 15 times a day, Judd said. ‘There's a high volume of pedophiles who come in just for the day” to seek sex with underage girls, Judd said.

“We tell women who are abused to run, but when girls run, they become vulnerable to the pimps,” Saar said. “We don't put the trafficker or the pimp behind bars. When you go and talk to survivors of trafficking, they talk about how they are the ones who were arrested.”

U.S. states have been rewriting laws to make them tougher on traffickers and the people who pay for sex. Earlier this month, the Georgia House of Representatives passed some of the most progressive legislation in the country on girls and prostitution. The new rules impose higher fines and longer sentences, with a 25-year minimum prison sentence for those found to have coerced someone under 18. Buying sex with a 16- year-old would bring a sentence of at least 5 years.

Statutory-Rape Laws

Saar, whose group advocated for pulling adult services listings from, said new laws aren't necessary to address the problem. “There are statutory rape laws,” she said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convened a Cabinet- level meeting Feb. 1 to coordinate the federal fight against human trafficking. The task force, established by President Barack Obama, meets at least once a year. It is coordinated by the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, which was created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

The trafficking of men women and children for labor and commercial sex is a “serious” problem in the U.S., the State Department aaid in its 10th annual report, published in June 2010, which grades 175 nations on their efforts to fight trafficking.



End human trafficking and child prostitution in Washington state

Bills aimed at fighting child prostitution and sex trafficking should advance in the House as swiftly as they did in the Senate.

THREE bills in the state Legislature are adding needed momentum and smart, targeted tools for law enforcement to battle against human trafficking and child prostitution.

Senate Bill 5545 passed the Senate and is now in the House. The legislation by Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, would allow police to record telephone calls involving underage victims and suspected pimps. An identical bill by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, passed the House. Good. A way to help police gather evidence and more quickly get pimps off the street could become law before the end of the year.

A second effort, Senate Bill 5546 expands the criminal definition of human trafficking.

Last in this legislative trio is Senate Bill 5482, which allows affordable housing funds to be used for victims of human trafficking. The intent is to use money already in the housing fund for young girls and other victims of sex trafficking.

The House needs to move on these bills to make the March 25 cutoff for legislation to be voted out of committees.

To their credit, House leaders are moving quickly. There will be a public hearing on the housing bill March 16 and the human trafficking and eavesdropping bills on March 15 and 16 in the House.

These efforts are critical.

Between 14,000 and 17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year. Nearly half are forced into prostitution, many of them children. Seattle's port and international border makes it one of the 10 human-trafficking hot spots in the country.

Washington state has been on the front lines of the battle. In 2003, this state was the first to criminalize trafficking and, in 2007, created a new criminal category for the commercial sexual abuse of a minor, replacing the former and lesser crime of patronizing a juvenile prostitute. Penalties were increased in 2010 and signs are now posted at rest stops throughout the state informing trafficking victims how to get help. Model policies about trafficking are included in law-enforcement training curriculum. Criminal penalties have been strengthened.

A solid sense of ownership on these issues falls to Kohl-Welles and Delvin. Kudos to them and their partners in law enforcement and victim advocacy groups. Do not stop now. Push these bills across the line.


Bill would require DCF referral of children involved in prostitution

by Jonathan Stankiewicz

March 11, 2011

Dozens of minors under age 18 have been found to be involved in sex trafficking in recent years, officials and advocates say, and their first contact with authority often is the police. A proposed law would for the first time require that the state Department of Children and Families be notified of such cases.

"Law enforcement is the most likely entity to come into contact with these victims and DCF is best suited to provide help to these victims," said Stacey Violante Cote, an attorney at the Center for Children's Advocacy.

Police would be required to report to DCF immediately when they arrest a minor for prostitution.

"It is important that law enforcement make DCF their first point of so they can immediately investigate a case of a child who has been arrested for prostitution and more rapidly provide them with services that they need to begin the restoration process," said Nicole von Oy, training and outreach coordinator at Love146, a non- profit organization.

Prior to Connecticut's Safe Harbor Law last year, "Connecticut law allowed children of any age to be prosecuted for prostitution," says a new report from Connecticut Voices for Children.

Now with the Safe Harbor Law children under the age of 18, who are sexually abused, are entitled to protection under Connecticut's child welfare system, the report says.

The report adds that in most cases, law enforcement agencies treat children who are prostituted as victims and don't try to prosecute them.

Barbara J. Claire, the legal director of DCF, told the legislature's Select Committee on Children that the department already is aware of dozens of cases.

"Over the past two years, the department has become aware of over 65 cases of youth involved in domestic minor sex trafficking activity," she said.

Many already are under DCF care.

"Most of these children are already in the department in one way or another," said William Rivera, the director of DCF's Division of Multicultural Affairs. These children go AWOL from group homes and residential centers and end up coming back, Rivera said.

While AWOL, many work as prostitutes, he said.

Other children working in prostitution are invisible: No one is counting the homeless children that don't get committed to DCF, Violante Cote said.

State Rep. Juan R. Candelaria, D-New Haven, asked during a public hearing if the pimps exploiting the children were being prosecuted.

The FBI and other task forces are working together and have several cases, Rivera said. He said that none have been prosecuted using Connecticut's statutes.

Rivera said the biggest impact of the bill would be on law enforcement, not DCF.

"We are pretty much doing what the legislation is saying we do, screening and investigating," Rivera said. "This bill is primarily made to give law enforcement agencies some direction."

The bill has been approved by the Select Committee on Children and referred to the Judiciary Committee.


Ashton Kutcher promoting his
“Real Men Don't Buy Girls” campaign.
  Sex Trafficking: Real Men Don't Buy Girls


by Sarah Farma

When you hear the words sex trafficking, you might think about just another bad thing happening in a country with no money and a greedy president. Although sex trafficking is more common in parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the United States has its own share of this horrific crime. The United Nations estimates that at least 700,000 to four million women and children are trafficked each year throughout the world.

While many families were on their way to support the Packers or the Steelers at the 2011 Super Bowl on Feb. 6, many traffickers were most likely out on the prowl. The 2009 Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida led to at least 24 children being kidnapped and trafficked right there in the Sunshine State.

Yet a person does not have to be in a busy place to become a victim of trafficking; you can also be kidnapped in your own home.

According to an ABC News article, Debbie* was the typical Phoenix, Arizona, 15-year old: sleepovers, friends and a little Jesse McCartney; but all of that innocence was ripped from her hands one September evening. As she was walking in her driveway to give her friend Alicia* a goodbye hug, she was pushed into a black car, bound and terrorized.

Debbie had her eyes and mouth closed with duct tape and was told that if she tried anything she would be shot and killed. Out of fear she did not fight back. Debbie was taken to a motel where she was forced to commit sexual acts with as many as 50 men.

Afterwards, Debbie was locked in a dog cage for 40 days and fed dog biscuits.

While Debbie was kidnapped from her own driveway with her mother right inside the house, Maya was lured with hope of "making it big." Maya* was a 19 year old, hardworking girl. She worked three jobs to save up for college.

One day, late at her shift in the mall, Maya was approached by a sleek-looking couple. They told her that they were modeling agents and that they wanted to recruit her. The idea of extra money coming in led Maya to meet the couple for dinner. Dinner was no chicken parmesan and Pierre sparkling water; instead Maya was taken to California for her first and high paying "photo shoot." It was not until later that Maya realized what was going on when she saw an ad with her herself for an escort service on Craigslist.

Human trafficking laws in the United States are more enforced, leaving traffickers to usually kidnap females or lure them by using excuses about show business. Laws in places such as Cambodia, Nepal, West Africa and Russia do not protect women as much.

Former St. Joseph religion teacher Mr. Marinelli is active in anti-trafficking in Nepal, as well as in New York City. He said, "Sex trafficking is illegal everywhere; some places enforce it more than others."

Due to rising poverty in many Asian countries, females are told that they will be getting domestic work only to be taken and locked in a brothel. A brothel is a house of prostitution, normally in small poorer countries. In some West African countries voodoo is used to threaten girls.They are forced to swear to secrecy and they are later trafficked to the United States.

Many girls and women will refuse to do such a shameful thing as committing sexual acts, and they will endure starvation, gang rapes and beatings to stand by their values; but after months or years they begin to lose faith, just as Tamang did. Tamang, a Nepali girl who lost her mother at 12, was sold by her brother for 40,000 rupees; that is only about 88 dollars in US currency.

Sex trafficking victims experience more than betrayed trust. They l are at risk of contracting STDs such as AIDS, HIV and Syphilis. Victims also experience mental trauma leading to drug/alcohol addiction, fear of men and an inability to feel emotion.

The author of SOLD, Patricia McCormick, is an active leader for anti-trafficking. Mr. Marinelli is also a part of numerous anti-trafficking non governmental organizations, such as Maiti Nepal, an organization to prevent sex trafficking in Nepal and India. "If I had stayed at St. Joseph, I would have liked to get connected with GEMS," he said. GEMS is a local anti-trafficking organization that also helps this cause. UNICEF, a program of the United Nations also works for anti-trafficking.

Our very own Sisters of Saint Joseph have done some work related to the prevention of this crime. Also, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have started their own "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" campaign, dealing with the same topic.

As youth, we must try harder for our voices to be heard. If you are interested in stopping sex trafficking you can visit The International Justice Mission website at or simply start campaigning or raising awareness in school.

*Name has been changed for confidentiality.


  Tracy Dearman has been missing for almost three months.

MOBILE, Alabama - There are new developments in the search for an Eight Mile woman missing for about three months.

Deputies are focusing on an area near Semmes, close to the intersection of Schillinger Road North and Lott Road.

Investigators are looking for clues to find out what happened to 34 year old Tracy Renee Dearmon.

Mobile County Sheriff's Deputies were on the scene in the 4400 block of Schillinger Road North starting at 11:00 Friday morning.

Sheriff's Office Spokesman Chris McLean said, "The Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit has secured a search warrant for this residence and piece of property. We are conducting an investigation in reference to a missing persons case back from December of 2010. The missing person is Tracy Dearman."

Investigators used ground penetrating radar in the case, but deputies wouldn't say if they were looking for a body.

McLean said, "I know that Mobile was able to provide that equipment for us out here today. I don't know what the results were from the testing of it, but, obviously, they are continuing on with the search back there."

There are still more questions than answers.

Deputies wouldn't say what they found Friday, if anything.

They wouldn't say what led them to the scene.

They did say they plan to be back at the property Saturday.


Gary and June Thompson
  APD searching for missing Colorado couple


by Charlie Pabst,

Albuquerque police are seeking information about a missing Colorado couple last seen in the Grants area late last week.

Gary and June Thompson were last seen driving to Broomfield, Colorado on March 6 near Grants. Police say the couple is driving a 1998 grey Dodge "Dually" crew cab pickup truck. The truck is pulling a white 5th wheel.

Anyone with information is asked to call APD's missing persons unit at 505-366-1168 .


Florida man sentenced to 10 years for traveling to Alabama for sex with minor

PENSACOLA, Fla. - Kenneth Eugene Haynes, 60, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., was sentenced in federal court Thursday for attempting to entice a minor female over the Internet and traveling to Alabama to engage in sexual activity with her.

The sentence was the result of a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Fairhope Police Department, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The two-count indictment alleged that between September and October of last year, Haynes engaged in a series of Internet chats with who he believed was a 15-year-old girl. Haynes eventually admitted writing the girl on multiple occasions and making plans during the course of these chats to pick her up in Alabama and take her out on his boat for sexual activity.

Haynes traveled to Alabama to pick up the victim on Oct. 1, 2010, bringing with him a sex toy and lubricant. Upon arrival at the meeting point, Haynes learned the minor was actually an undercover agent from the FBI.

Haynes was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison to be followed by five years' supervised release. He will also have to register as a sex offender. Part of the sentence requires Haynes to forfeit the items he used to facilitate the crime. These include the Mercedes-Benz he drove to pick up the victim, the 31.8-foot Regal boat he was going to use with the victim, as well as computer equipment, cameras, and cellular telephones.

During the sentencing, U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers questioned why a well-educated businessman would engage in such criminal activity. Before imposing sentence, Judge Rodgers informed Haynes of the "severity of the consequences" when one victimizes children.

"This sentencing demonstrates the serious consequences that await those who would sexually prey upon and exploit children," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Tampa. "Through our partnerships with state, local and other federal law enforcement agencies, ICE will continue to police cyber space to investigate child predators and ensure that they feel the full weight of the law."

The investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE . This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg of the Northern District of Florida.


Michael Snyder
  Children's book author arrested for alleged child molestation in San Clemente

March 10, 2011

A San Clemente children's book author has been charged with child molestation, authorities said Thursday.

Michael Snyder, 43, is suspected of having a sexual relationship with a girl younger than age 14 from May 2010 to March 2011, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The alleged relationship came to light when the girl told her mother, who contacted police, he said.

The author was arrested about 7 p.m. Wednesday as he was picking up his children at the Boys & Girls Club in San Clemente.

Snyder could not be reached for comment. One neighbor told KCAL-TV Channel 9 news that Snyder is "a good man." Other neighbors also defended Snyder.

Snyder was being held at the Central Jail in Santa Ana in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Books for sale through Snyder's website include "Lemon Drop Rain" and "Swimming in Chocolate!" Snyder lists dozens of local schools where he has appeared for readings and book signings during the school day and for after-school programs.

Snyder also owns a company that subcontracts with the state to provide services for mentally and physically disabled people, including children, Amormino said.

"We do fear that there may be additional victims because of his access to children," Amormino said. Anyone with information should call (866) TIP-OCSD .


Ariz. effort vs. kid sex slavery is called poor

by Rhonda Bodfield

Arizona Daily Star

Arizona isn't doing enough to prevent it or protect kids from being sold into sex slavery, according to a former congresswoman who has spearheaded efforts to diminish the trafficking of minors.

Linda Smith, a Washington congresswoman in the late 1990s who founded a national advocacy group that focuses on victims of sexual slavery, gave Arizona a "C" for its laws at a press conference Wednesday.

Pima County, however, came in at the low end of that average, downgraded for playing less attention to the crime than its counterparts in Maricopa County and for lacking a strong collaborative effort to address it.

Smith said researchers were surprised by how little Arizonans know about the problem, with many mistaking "trafficking" for the smuggling of people over the border. She is bothered that many criminal-justice or child-protection officials see the girls as "child prostitutes" rather than victims.

She estimated that 100,000 minors are prostituted in the U.S. annually.

Arizona has a "real problem" with demand, she said, as evidenced by 136 juvenile arrests statewide for prostitution from 2005 through 2009. She also said "erotic" sites identify where the "product" is being sold, which also shows Arizona has demand.

Smith said the average age for a juvenile to enter prostitution is 14.8 years old. And the average victim, she said, serviced five to 10 men a night, six days a week - about 1,500 men a year.

Arizona was downgraded generally for not having sufficient services to care for the victims, who typically end up in detention facilities, and for weak enforcement against buyers.

A buyer has never been prosecuted in Arizona under the sex-trafficking statute, she said, pointing to a hole in the law that allows a buyer to draw probation plus 90 days on his first offense if prosecutors can't show he knew the minor's age. They also are not required to register as sex offenders, she said, adding that the law should be zero-tolerance. "If you buy a kid for sex, you're really bad and you should go to jail," she said.


Austin Bryant
  Affidavit alleges severe abuse of missing boy


The Associated Press

March 11, 2011

One of two boys who had been missing for years before authorities were notified was denied food, spanked, forced to run up and down stairs and rolled up tightly in blankets "like a burrito" as punishment in the home of their adoptive parents, an adoptive brother claimed in a statement to investigators.

Austin Eugene Bryant often grew so hungry that he scavenged food from a garbage can, an arrest warrant affidavit quotes the adoptive brother as saying.

Austin and his biological brother, Edward Dylan Bryant, disappeared from their adoptive parents' home in Monument, Colo., by late 2003, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said Thursday. Austin would have been 7 and Edward 11 at the time.

The couple who adopted them, Edward Bryant, 58, and Linda Bryant, 54, have been arrested on charges of receiving nearly $175,000 in government payments to support the boys, even though they weren't living with the couple for most of the decade.

Maketa said the Bryants were entitled to government payments to care for Austin and Edward because both were considered special needs children. He didn't elaborate.

The parents haven't been charged in the boys' disappearances.

They were arrested in Texas, where they had moved around 2005. It was unclear whether they have attorneys. A lawyer who represented them in a 2007 bankruptcy case didn't return a phone message Thursday.

Linda Bryant told investigators she did not kill the boys, the arrest warrant affidavit said. She denied most of the abuse allegations but acknowledged forcing the boys to exercise and withholding food, which she described as "delaying food," the affidavit said.

The affidavit makes no mention of any comment from the elder Edward Bryant about the abuse allegations. It says he denied signing any documents to get payments for the two boys and denied any knowledge of getting government money to help with their care.

Deputies are concentrating now on trying to find the boys, Maketa said. He said deputies have conducted a preliminary search at the Bryants' former home in Monument, just north of Colorado Springs, and further searches are planned there. Whether the search spreads to other areas depends on what investigators find, he said.

Asked if he thought the brothers were still alive, Maketa said, "You know, that's a very difficult question. What I can say is each day that passes, the faith of finding them alive diminishes."

At a news conference Thursday, Maketa displayed sketchy timelines of the two boys' lives. Edward was born in May 1992, Austin in January 1996. Both were adopted by the Bryants in March 2000.

Austin shows up in Monument-area school records from 2001 through late 2003, the sheriff said, but the paper trail ends in October 2003.

"There was some activity" in the younger Edward's Medicaid account in December 2003, the sheriff said, but after that, his trail also goes cold.

"Somebody out there knows something about them," Maketa said. "And what they may know may be old, but it's very important that we get access to those people and that information so that we know what direction this investigation is going to go."

The parents gave conflicting accounts of when they last saw the boys, Maketa said. Edward Bryant said the younger Edward ran away in 2001 and Austin in 2003, investigators said, while Linda Bryant said they both ran away in 2003.

Maketa said the family still lived in Colorado at the time but the parents didn't file a missing-person report.

The investigation started Jan. 22 when authorities were approached by Ricky and Bryan Pennington, brothers who were once foster children of Linda Bryant's biological daughter. They had been talking about contradictions in what they were told about why Austin and Edward were no longer with the Bryants, Maketa said.

After they were approached by the Pennington brothers, investigators tracked down James Bryant, one the missing boys' other adopted brothers and a soldier at Fort Campbell, Ky. It was James Bryant who told investigators about seeing Austin rolled up tightly to restrain him and that Austin was subjected to other abuse.

James Bryant said by the time he was adopted by Edward and Linda Bryant, the younger Edward was no longer in the home.

Bryan Pennington told investigators he too had seen Austin rolled tightly in blankets and left on the floor "for extended periods of time."

"This was apparently suggested to the Bryants by a therapist," the affidavit said, without further explanation.

Bryan Pennington also told investigators that Austin told him he had been shot by a stun gun by his adoptive parents and had sometimes been placed in a trunk in the garage. The affidavit includes no eyewitness to those accounts.

Maketa said the Bryants had adopted seven other children, including a biological brother of Austin and Edward. Five, including the missing boys' brother, were living with Linda Bryant when she was arrested.

A sixth brother is incarcerated, Maketa said, but it wasn't clear where, or on what conviction. The seventh brother is James Bryant, the soldier.

Linda Bryant was arrested Feb. 25 in Lake Kiowa. Edward Bryant was arrested the same day in Denton, Texas, where he works.

They were extradited to Colorado on March 4 and are being held in the El Paso County jail on charges including theft, forgery and falsified documents. Bail was set at $1 million for each.

The El Paso County sheriff's hot line for tips in the case is 719-520-7209 .


2 held in first Scots sex trafficking prosecution

March 11, 2011

Two men are being held in Scotland's first prosecution for sex trafficking, it's been reveal.

The Crown Office has confirmed that two suspects had been charged with “trafficking for prostitution”.

The men, Stephen Craig, 34, from Clydebank, and Malcolm McNeill, 47, from Hamilton, appeared in private on petition at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday. They have been accused of offences in Glasgow, other areas of Scotland and Belfast in 2009 and 2010. They made no plea or declaration.

Bail was granted by the sheriff but appealed by the Crown. Both men were remanded in custody pending an appeal hearing.

Craig and McNeill are understood to be the first to be charged under a section 22 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, new legislation designed to deal with a range of offences involving “traffic for prostitution”.

Amnesty International last year criticised Scottish authorities for failing to carry out any prosecutions for human trafficking of any kind, despite more than 100 convictions in England and Wales for the same offences.

Scottish police forces, however, have succeeded in freeing numerous sex workers they believe to have been trafficked. But they have found it very difficult to convince the victims in such cases to make formal complaints.

The Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, Strathclyde Police and other law enforcement agencies have spent the last two years devising new strategies to tackle the issue.

Strathclyde Police last night declined to allow any of its officers involved in investigating people trafficking to comment.

The trafficking prosecution carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.


Clapps backing film about sex trafficking

Puget Sound Business Journal - by Clay Holtzman

March 10, 2011

For years, Bill and Paula Clapp have been nearly as critical in building Seattle's reputation for international aid and development as Bill and Melinda Gates .

The Clapps founded microfinance organization Global Partnerships, the business-based Initiative for Global Development and more recently the Seattle International Foundation ( a $30 million gift I profiled in 2007 ) and Global Washington, a local association.

The two philanthropists spoke about their giving at a luncheon today for the Seattle Philanthropic Advisors Network, which was moderated by Paul Shoemaker from Social Venture Partners. The two gave the audience a taste of their next project — helping produce a movie about the international sex trafficking industry.

After the talk, I spoke with Paula Clapp about her involvement, which started after two friends — Ginny Miesenbach and Patty Haven Fleischmann— approached her asking for support. “This is the newest passion,” Paula Clapp said.

The three women have teamed with producer Jane Charles to raise money for a film based on the fictional book “ Sold” by Patricia McCormick about a 13-year-old girl from Nepal sold into sexual slavery. Paula Clapp is helping to raise money for the film, which reportedly has commitments from Oscar winner Emma Thompson , David Arquette , Gillian Anderson and cameos by other Hollywood actors.

Proceeds from the film will benefit local homeless teen assistance nonprofit YouthCare.

Considering the Clapps have had such a significant impact on microloans, social corporate social responsibility and international philanthropy, I would not be surprised if the film is the start of something much bigger.


Legislator seeks support for sex-trafficking bill

Mar 10, 2011


Florida Baptist Witness Correspondent

BRANDON, Florida (FBW)—On the eve of her departure for the new legislative session, Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview, met with approximately 20 representatives from Brandon area churches to discuss the Human Trafficking Bill (HB 477) she is sponsoring. Her bill takes aim at illegitimate “massage parlors” and “spas” that offer sexual services under the guise of massage therapy and are often involved in the sexual slavery of women.

Human trafficking, Burgin said, is an estimated $32 billion dollar a year industry affecting 2.4 million victims worldwide, is growing at alarming rates in Florida, especially in the Tampa Bay area. Only California comes close to matching Florida in the number of human trafficking arrests, Burgin said.

Terry Kemple, president of Community Issues Council (CIC), organized the March 5 meeting, which drew representatives from several area Southern Baptist congregations including Bell Shoals Baptist and Kings Avenue Baptist in Brandon; First Baptist Church in Mango; and The Crossing Church in Tampa. Kemple, who was recently appointed to the Hillsborough County Human Relations Board, founded CIC in 2006 to help churches be involved in public policy and moral concerns.

Citing a 2006 State Department report referenced on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's website, Burgin said criminals often lure women from poor countries to America by promising them fulfilling, well-paying jobs that will enable them to send money back home to support their families.

Once these victims are on U.S. soil and saddled with the debt of their passage, an amount usually reaching tens of thousands of dollars, the women are forced into prostitution at brothels fronting as legitimate spas and massage parlors. A victim's chance at escape is usually limited by brothel owners or managers who confiscate her passport or identification.

Burgin said she worked with representatives from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida State Massage Therapy Association to craft legislation which will provide for adequate oversight of the massage industry. If passed, Burgin said the bill will allow law enforcement to more easily determine the difference between a legitimate massage business and an establishment that may be engaged in human trafficking.

Unlike a professional hair stylist's license which prominently displays a name and photograph, a massage therapist's license does not require such identification, Burgin said. Because of this, many illegitimate establishments use falsified licenses that are difficult for law enforcement officers to verify.

Burgin's bill seeks to change that.

According to a summary of the bill online at, HB 477 “specifies documents that must be possessed by each person providing or offering to provide massage services in certain circumstances; requires presentation of such documents upon request of law enforcement officer; requires operators of massage establishments to maintain valid work authorization documents on premises for each employee who is not a U.S. citizen” and to present such documentation upon request of a law enforcement officer.

The bill also prohibits a person from “providing or offering to provide massage services without possession of a license and specified documentation” and “prohibits the use of a massage establishment for the purpose of lewdness, assignation or prostitution.”

Burgin, 28, a Christian who felt a call to the mission field at the age of 12, expected to fulfill her calling on foreign soil. But after majoring in Biblical Studies, God called her to service in the government, she said at the meeting.

“The Lord had a bigger mission for me to fulfill, and a bigger place where He wanted me to shine the Light, not only for our culture, but for the future of our country,” Burgin said.

In 2008, Burgin interned in Washington, D.C. with President George W. Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiat ives. Burgin said she believed it was divine intervention which led her to be seated at an event next to Rebecca McDonald, President of Women At Risk, International , a charitable organization committed to freeing the victims of sexual trafficking.

After striking up a conversation, McDonald told a shocked Burgin that Florida is one of the leading purveyors of sex trafficking in the country, with Burgin's own hometown of Tampa Bay as number one in the state for this illegal activity.

This new knowledge ignited in Burgin a passion to fight human trafficking. Burgin said she sees HB 477 as a way to make a positive impact on the situation at home in Florida.

This will be the third session in which Burgin has introduced her bill. Burgin said passage of the bill is challenging because many Florida districts do not have sex-oriented businesses, so many representatives don't understand the need for changes to the existing law.

Burgin, nonetheless, is tireless in her pursuit of the bill.

“It's a bipartisan, across the board issue," Burgin said. "It really is about people and about what is happening in our state with the sale of people."

Burgin said she hopes area pastors and other church leaders will begin to speak out about the subject of human trafficking and raising awareness.

Kemple urged the pastors and laypersons in attendance to take the message back to their churches and contact state legislators, urging the passage of the bill.

“We know we are never going to end evil," Kemple said. "That's not our job, but it is our job to take a stand against evil when we see it and to do whatever we can to make sure evil doesn't prevail."

Burgin said it is ironic that Tampa Bay, known as a politically conservative community, has the third highest concentration of sex-related businesses in the country. She hopes the passage of HB 477 will be the first step in closing down a significant number of those businesses operating illegally.

Edmund Calvert, who attended the meeting as a representative of Kings Avenue Baptist Church, said he was surprised at learning of the proliferation of human trafficking in Florida.

“[The women] came here expecting a decent life, and they get caught up in this crime, and that's because we haven't done anything about it," Calvert told the Witness . "I guess ‘disgust' is [what I feel], and [I'm] ‘ashamed' that we've allowed it."


Beth Bentley
  9-month-old mystery

Police continue to investigate as rifts open among family members

March 10, 2011

by Dan Hinkel

Chicago Tribune reporter

After taking her 10-year-old son to Dairy Queen to celebrate his baseball team's victory, Beth Bentley packed her shoulder bag, telling her husband she'd be back in three days from a weekend visit to Wisconsin with a friend.

She never returned. In the nine months since that weekend, she hasn't called home. The 42-year-old mother of three from Woodstock simply vanished.

Her family's confusion was compounded by an unsettling revelation delivered the night she was reported missing — she didn't go to Wisconsin. Instead, her traveling companion told police they went to southern Illinois to visit friends.

"She's missed all the kids' birthdays. She's missed all the holidays. Christmas. Graduation," said her husband, Scott Bentley. "I think the most likely thing is that something bad happened and she is," he said, pausing, "you know. …"

Her absence is painful on its own, but uncertainty about her fate also has opened rifts between family members over what is being done — or not done — to find her. The turmoil has even spilled over into the online world, where friends, family and strangers speculate and bicker about her fate on competing Facebook pages.


Cardinal Draws Praise in Sexual Abuse Scandal


PHILADELPHIA — With the Roman Catholic church here convulsed by a sexual abuse scandal, many of the faithful attended Ash Wednesday services with heavy hearts. But they also said they were pleased that the church had suspended 21 priests on Tuesday and that Cardinal Justin Rigali seemed to be taking the right steps now, even if the archdiocese had not done so in the past.

“They're doing the best they can to eliminate the problem, and I think the church is going to become stronger,” said Mario D'Adamo, 57, a court administrator, as he left the stone Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul here after the noon Mass.

“Like a tree that's being pruned,” he said, “they are taking the bad branches off.”

The cathedral was packed, and crowds overflowed into side rooms as television cameras hovered outside. Perhaps a dozen protesters stood quietly by the church steps, holding pictures of children and wearing signs warning that church officials were “wolves in sheep's clothing.”

Inside the church, Cardinal Rigali addressed the issue in his homily. It was his first major public appearance since a grand jury report on Feb. 10 accused the archdiocese of a widespread cover-up of predatory priests and said that as many as 37 priests remained active despite a range of allegations against them.

The cardinal suspended 21 on Tuesday in connection with the allegations, which included sexual abuse of minors and “boundary issues” with minors, pending fuller inquiries. Diocese officials declined to discuss the nature of allegations against each priest.

Cardinal Rigali had previously suspended three other priests. He said that five others would have been suspended but were no longer active and that further investigations of eight were not warranted.

“During this Lent we are especially conscious of the grave sins of sexual abuse committed against minors, in particular by members of the clergy,” the cardinal told the worshipers.

“Whoever harms a child,” he said, “must remember the words of Jesus: ‘It would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.' ”

The archdiocese did not provide a list of the names of the 21 priests, but as Ash Wednesday dawned in the 1.45million-member church, its representatives informed the parishes where a priest had been suspended that he had been placed on administrative leave, and someone else celebrated Mass.

Several parishioners interviewed outside the cathedral said they wanted the names to be made public, and the names did filter out during the day.

Mr. D'Adamo said that although some priests might be innocent, it was important to name them all “because it will put a lot more people's minds at ease to know who they are.”

Kieren Detweiler, 28, a financial analyst, initially said that she did not see the point in naming the priests, but as she spoke, she changed her mind.

“I don't see the value, because some people may have had really good experiences with some priests who might have been named, although if they were a regular criminal, they would be named, so, they probably should do that, I guess, now that I think about it,” she said.

Lizette Torres, 37, an administrative assistant, said that she supported the suspension and identifying of the priests.

“The saddest thing of it all is the loss of faith that people get when things like this happen,” she said. “I would just pray for those priests who were really misdirected, misguided. It's a terrible shame, for the kids, for them, for the holy church, for the faith, for everything. It just goes to show once again that priests are human beings, they aren't holier than the rest of us.”


young prostitute works a red light district
  Exposed: Cardiff Wales sex slavery shame

Eastern European gangs are trafficking women into Cardiff for sexual exploitation, according to evidence given to an investigation into the capital's secretive sex trade.

A human rights organisation estimates up to 60 women – from countries including Croatia, Albania, Czech Republic, Thailand, China, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria – maybe involved in prostitution in Cardiff at any one time.

However, officials say few cases are ever reported as most of the women live in fear of reprisal from the gangs, both in the UK and their homeland.

There was calls last night for a strategic multi-agency approach to rescue the victims of trafficking and capture the gangs controlling the seedy trade.

Witnesses told a Cardiff council committee, whose report is presented today at an executive business meeting, that trafficking was a serious and growing issue in the city.

Amnesty International Wales estimates there are 600 trafficked and non-trafficked prostitutes in Cardiff, with about 200 working in six large brothels, a further 200 working out of flats or houses and the remainder on the streets.

According to another witness called to give evidence, there are five shop-front massage parlours and between 20 and 40 flat-based brothels. A search of a website for sex services uncovered 62 establishments in Cardiff, including massage parlours and private establishments.

Llandaff councillor Kirsty Davies, who chaired the task group investigation, said human trafficking was “without a doubt” taking place in Cardiff and believed many residents would be surprised at the prevalence of sex slavery.

“The evidence we heard was that trafficked women tend to be moved and the pimps get their business via the internet, rather than the more visible way,” Coun Davies said.

“They also tend to not stay in one place for very long, so that's far more likely to be city-wide than prostitution, which tends to stay in some areas.”

Some arrive in the country under the impression they are to work in a restaurant or hotel, but go on to suffer rape and abuse, held under “debt bondage” and have threats made against their families.

A former outreach worker at the Community Addictions Unit told the group Albanian organised crime groups control much of the off-street sex industry in Cardiff.

“Suspected cases of trafficking in Cardiff that she experienced are predominantly Eastern European; although smaller numbers of Nigerian, Thai and Malaysian women are also trafficked,” the report states.

It adds: “From her experience, most of the pimps involved with trafficked women are also Albanian, though she has also encountered Russian and Polish pimps.”

Cathy Owens, programme director at Amnesty International, said a debate was needed about whether the sex trade in Wales had been “legitimised”.

“People would be hugely surprised if they knew that not far away from them there is the potential of women being seriously abused here in Cardiff,” she said.

Another witness from the Black Association of Women Step Out (BAWSO), an all-Wales charity for women from ethnic minorities, said Chinese women were trafficked but the community and industry were very closed and it would be “dangerous” to investigate.

Fran Laity, senior support worker at BAWSO, yesterday told the Echo that over the past two years the charity had cared for 22 trafficking victims at a “safe house” at a secret location in Wales.

She said the smuggling of women for sex was a growing problem in South Wales, with an increasing number of women being referred to the charity's services. Ms Laity called for great networking with police to identify more victims.

Det Supt Stuart McKenzie, of South Wales Police, said current intelligence across Wales did not indicate human trafficking was widespread.

“The police work with various agencies to ensure we have an accurate picture of human trafficking in Wales to allow us to work together to protect these vulnerable people and bring those responsible to justice,” he said.


  Ariz. scores a 'C' in protecting victims of sex trafficking

by Bob McClay/KTAR

PHOENIX - Arizona could be getting better grades in one area.

The group shared Hope International gives Arizona a 'C' grade when it comes to protecting minors who are victims of sex trafficking.

The groups founder, former Congresswoman Linda Smith, says part of the problem is Arizona's law against child prostitution carries tough penalties, but those who pay for sex are getting around that.

"If the state cannot prove a buyer of child prostitution had knowledge of the 15 to 17 year old minor's age, this can be reduced to a class six felony, resulting in as little as 90 days in jail on the first offense."

Smith says part of the problem is that the issue isn't get much attention. "The good people of Arizona just don't know that the majority of traffic victims here are the middle school kids of Arizona and the rest of the I just don't think they know.

The group is calling for tougher penalties for buyers.'C'-in-protecting-victims-of-sex-trafficking/


  Jefferson County teenagers from Victory Church helping other teens

Pevely, MO (KSDK) -- It's a problem that may seem more international to some, but it's happening right here in Missouri. And in Pevely some teens are dedicated to saving other teens from sex trafficking.

The Victory Church youth group packed a Wednesday night worship service this week. And for the past three weeks, the 250 teenagers have raised more than $16,000 for the St. Louis organization International Crisis Aid.

The money will help start a safe house for young girls rescued from the sex trafficking industry in the St. Louis region. It will be the first of its kind in the state says Pat Bradley with International Crisis Aid.

"They're going to have an incredible impact," says Bradley. "When this home is opened they're going to be responsible for getting girls rescued and giving them a brand new life."

Bradley has opened safe houses for sex trafficking victims around the world -- providing counseling, shelter and education for young girls rescued from the industry. But he says such facilities are rare in the U.S., despite the growing problem of sex trafficking.

The U.S. Justice Department estimates 300,000 children are at risk of becoming victims of sex trafficking. And the agency says the average age of when a young girl first becomes a victim is around 12 to 14.

"You have to make a difference some how, you don't want to sit around being lazy," says Makayla Keich who at the age of eleven began selling bracelets made from soda can tabs to raise money for Crisis Aid International.

The teenagers at Victory Church are also taking there message about the little known problem to other teens -- giving presentations at local high schools.

"We want our community to know that this is a problem not only overseas but right here in our city of St. Louis," says youth pastor Ron John.

You can join the movement by visiting


Sex-trade victims a federal priority

They come to the United States, girls following false promises of real work and the chance for a more robust life. They find servitude, humiliation, danger and hopelessness.

They are the victims of sex trafficking, pulled into the web of prostitution from the East Coast to the West Coast, from Minnesota to the Pacific rim. In Minnesota, most recently, it was a case of alleged human trafficking involving girls of Somali descent.

Charges have been filed against multiple defendants in federal court in Nashville, Tenn., where gang members allegedly took several young girls to work as prostitutes -- in addition to selling them for sex here.

But such cases are becoming ubiquitous. Consider this case recently announced out of Guam:

An owner of a bar there was found guilty of sex trafficking and coercion and enticement for prostitution. His scheme was to force young women and one juvenile girl into prostitution.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the bar owner and others recruited and enticed about nine victims to come to Guam from the island of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. The girls were poor and uneducated, and the bar owner lured them by promising them legitimate employment in a restaurant or store.

As so often happens, he sold them for sex instead ... in the VIP rooms of his "lounge."

The girls had to work in the VIP rooms for 12 to 14 hours a day, with most of their money going to the bar owner and his partners. He held the girls by taking their passports and clothing. He used threats, violence and starvation to force them to prostitute themselves.

What broke the case was the girls' willingness to testify, even against the police officers who patronized the club. The same was true in the Minneapolis case.

If you suspect human trafficking, call the U.S. Immigrant and Customs Enforcement tip line at 1-866-347-2423 .


  Former prostitute tells sex-trafficking victims they can escape

A former prostitute says the sex-trafficking industry is a "Mafioso undercover lifestyle," and its secrets can be told only by the bravest of those who has counted the cost.

After years of being trapped in that lifestyle as a high-class prostitute in Las Vegas, Annie Lobert of Hookers for Jesus laments that the industry claimed the lives of 13 of her friends who have been murdered, committed suicide or simply disappeared.

Lobert explains that because pimps often trap vulnerable girls who are looking for love, the girls are lured into prostitution before they know it. Because pimps want to control their prostitutes, she says many girls cannot walk away because they would be left without a job history, a resume, a car, clothes or an identity.

"They figure they can't get out because they don't know how to do anything else,” Lobert said, “and basically they fear going back to their families and telling them the truth. I did. I was so scared telling my father. I sat there and thought to myself, 'This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life is tell my daddy I was a prostitute.'"

Lobert says pimps want to keep the girls in "total bondage" and slavery, and those who choose to speak out about the industry are targeted. She explained: "If you tell the secrets of sex-trafficking that [are] really going on, then you will have the possibility of being murdered, and this is truly the gospel because Jesus wants the truth out there. And people who are afraid to tell the truth -- I don't know, I wouldn't want to be them when they go to heaven [and] when they [face] the Creator, because to be honest with you, that's what he wants from us."

The Hookers for Jesus founder points out that the sex-driven culture keeps the sex-trafficking industry thriving -- and because of that culture, she says, there is a great harvest awaiting those who will respond to the call of her ministry.

Lobert says that ever since she was called by God to reach out to her friends in the sex-trafficking industry, she has seen the lives of former pimps and prostitutes changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lobert tells OneNewsNow that because Jesus rescued her from the industry, it permits her to reach out to other prostitutes. The ministry now has a safe transitional home for teenagers and women based near the Las Vegas strip.

"Girls were coming to the altar getting saved, getting set free,” Lobert said. “They didn't have jobs, they left their pimps and didn't have anywhere to go. I started bringing them home. I put them in hotels -- I had nowhere to put them and I asked my pastors, 'Hey, I'd really like to have a house for these girls. Wouldn't it be great if our church could provide that?' And guess what? In 2008, we opened up Destiny House."

Hookers for Jesus also has a ministry called SNL, which stands for "Saturday Night Love," where a team heads out to the strip and reaches out to prostitutes.

"I walk up to them just with all the love in my heart that God's given me,” Lobert said, “and I say 'God loves you. You don't have to do this. Hey, here's my number if you ever need any help, give me call. Have you ever thought about getting out? Did you ever think you could get out? Well, guess what -- there's a way.'

“And that's basically what I tell them. I don't tell them 'Oh, you know what you're doing is bad?' They already know what they are doing is not right." Lobert encourages the church to reach out to those in the sex-trafficking industry in the love of Jesus Christ.


Shidae Richmond, 18
  Police seek help in finding missing Chicago State University student

An 18-year-old South Side Chicago State University student who was last seen Saturday on the South Side leaving for school has gone missing.

Shidae Richmond was last seen Saturday leaving for Chicago State University where she is a student, according to a missing persons alert from Wentworth Area detectives.

She is missing from the area of 51st Street and Damen Avenue and was last seen wearing a gray sweater, yellow Roca shirt, light blue jeans, black Ugg boots and she was carrying a black backpack containing books and gray Chicago State sweatpants, the alert said.

Richmond, who is African-American, has a state ID, a school ID and a medical card, according to the alert.

She is described as being 5-foot-7, 240 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair and a medium brown complexion.

She has a small scar in the center of her forehead and a mole on the left side of her jaw, according to the alert.

Anyone with information should contact detectives, (312) 747-8385


Susana Perez
  Local woman wearing rosary necklace still missing

Local woman wearing rosary necklace still missing

by KENS 5 Staff

March 9, 2011

A San Antonio mom last seen on December 8, 2010 remains missing.

Authorities say 38-year-old Susana Perez disappeared at the 10500 block of Kinderhook. At that time she was wearing a rosary necklace. Perez, who walks with a limp due to a right knee injury, is the mother of three children.

Suzie has brown eyes and black hair. She weighs approximately 110 pounds and has a scar on her left cheek.

If you have any information that might help SAPD find Perez, you are asked to cal the Missing Persons Unit at 210-207-7660.


Virginia State Police Partners With Lottery To Boost Amber Alert System

Governor Bob McDonnell announced today a new partnership between the Virginia Lottery and Virginia State Police aimed at increasing the chances of Virginia law enforcement locating a missing and endangered child during a Virginia Amber Alert.

The new concept is a result of a suggestion submitted by a citizen to the governor by email.

“When the Virginia State Police issues an Amber Alert, every second counts and the message needs to be spread quickly,” said Governor McDonnell. “Thanks to a great idea from Christopher Divers of Virginia Beach and the collaborative efforts of the Virginia Lottery and our State Police, thousands of Lottery retailers in the Commonwealth will be able to notify customers of a Virginia Amber Alert activation.”

The Lottery's in-store electronic display systems will indicate the locality of the alert and instruct the public to go to [1] for details concerning the missing and endangered child and any information regarding the abductor.

The Amber Alert messages will scroll across the top of the self-service Lottery Express vending machines and along the display screen above the clerk-operated Lottery terminal.

Under normal circumstances, these display systems show jackpot amounts and marketing messages.

While the alert is scrolling, no marketing messages will be displayed.

Retailers do not need to do anything; the messages are generated by the Lottery's data center, which receives the notification from Virginia State Police.

Currently the Lottery has more than 5,000 clerk-operated terminals and approximately 700 Lottery Express self-service vending machines at retailers across the Commonwealth.

“We are delighted to be able to use the Lottery's equipment and partnerships with retailers across the Commonwealth to assist the Virginia State Police,” said Paula Otto, Virginia Lottery executive director. “While we hope this help will never be needed, we want to respond quickly and effectively when it becomes necessary.”

The Virginia Amber Alert Program was established by the General Assembly in 2002 and been used to issue 29 alerts for missing and endangered child cases that meet the criteria for activation.

The Amber Alert notifies the public of a missing and endangered child via broadcast media through the Emergency Alert System, Virginia Department of Transportation electronic message signs, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Amber Alert website, the Virginia State Police Facebook page, and the non-profit A Child Is Missing Program.

Major public utilities and the Virginia Realtors Association also help spread the message of an alert to their employees statewide.

The Virginia Lottery generates approximately $1.2 million per day for Virginia's K-12 public schools.

Operating entirely on revenue from the sale of Lottery products, rather than tax dollars, the Virginia Lottery raised more than $430.2 million for Virginia's public schools in fiscal year 2010.

That represents about 8 percent of state funding for public education in Virginia. For more information, visit Follow the Virginia Lottery on Facebook and Twitter. Please play responsibly.


Elizabeth Rojo - 2009
  Endangered Missing Alert California – 3 Felix Children

Mar 10th, 2011

The California Highway Patrol has issued an emergency missing advisory for three children. It could be upgraded to a full Amber Alert. Elizabeth Rojo, age 24, took her daughter 6 year old Eveny Felix, , and sons 5 year old Miguel Felix, and 2 year old Louis Felix, after her first unsupervised visit in about a year. The visit was at a McDonald's on Date Palm Drive in Cathedral City, California. When the social worker returned to pick up the children Rojo and the kids were gone.

According to authorities Rojo lost custody of her children last year after an attempted suicide. Rojo was caught speeding with her children in the car. She intended to take her own life. Eveny Felix is a 6 year old hispanic female. She is 3 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 41 pounds. She has brown hair and eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue t-shirt and blue jeans carrying a Justin Beiber back pack.

Miguel Felix is a 5 year old hispanic male. He is 3 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 33 pounds. He has brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing a white and orange striped t-shirt and blue jeans.

Louis Felix is a 2 year old hispanic male. He is 2 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 27 pounds. He has brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing a red and white striped t-shirt.

The suspect Elizabeth Rojo is a 24 year old Hispanic female. She is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds. She has brown hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a brown and green tank top with blue jeans.

Rojo was last seen driving a white, four-door 1989 Isuzu Trooper with California license plates 2PEX908.

The children are considered to potentially be in danger.

If you have any information about the whereabouts of these children contact the Cathedral City Police at (760) 770-0303.
Elizabeth Rojo - 2006


5-year-old allegedly abducted by parents in L.A. County in 2009 found safe in New Orleans

A 5-year-old boy snatched from a Carson day-care center in an alleged parental aduction two years ago has been reunited with his grandparents after being found malnourished but unhurt in New Orleans, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

Shalomiel Sol-El was adjusting to life back in Los Angeles after his father, Ausar Allah-El, and mother, Serenity Sol-El, were arrested Friday by New Orleans police and U.S. marshals on suspicion of child abduction, said Capt. Mike Parker of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

The boy was in the custody of his maternal grandparents when he was taken in April 2009 during a court-appointed visitation at a child-care center in Carson.

L.A. County child welfare authorities had determined that while he was in the custody of his parents, Shalomiel "was suffering from numerous medical conditions that could have been prevented with the proper care and medication."

Authorities said Soul-El's refused to provide the child with necessary medical, dental and eye care and occupational therapy. Once placed with his grandparents, the boy's condition improved and he began to develop, they said.

Then the boy vanished. For almost two years, authorities searched to no avail.

Last month, a National Park Service police officer in New Orleans saw Allah-El, the boy's father, panhandling, talking on a cellphone and acting suspiciously.

The officer questioned the man and checked his background for any criminal history.

The check revealed that he was wanted in Los Angeles on suspicion of child abduction. With assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, L.A. County detectives were contacted.


Justin Francis Rigali had said there were no priests in active ministry with established allegations against them.
  21 Priests Suspended in Philadelphia


The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Tuesday that it had suspended 21 priests from active ministry in connection with accusations that involved sexual abuse or otherwise inappropriate behavior with minors.

The mass suspension was the single-most sweeping in the history of the sexual-abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, said Terence McKiernan, president of, which archives documents from the abuse scandal in dioceses across the country.

The archdiocese's action follows a damning grand jury report issued Feb. 10 that accused the archdiocese of a widespread cover-up of predatory priests, stretching over decades, and said that as many as 37 priests remained active in the ministry despite credible accusations against them.

Of those 37 priests, 21 were suspended; three others already had been placed on administrative leave after the grand jury detailed accusations against them. Five others would have been suspended, the church said in a statement, but three are no longer active and two are no longer active in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. The church said that in eight cases, no further investigation was warranted.

The statement said the accusations against the 21 ranged from “sexual abuse of a minor to boundary issues with minors,” but did not describe them further.

Nor did it name the 21 whom it suspended, drawing the fury of groups representing abuse victims. Many parishioners are likely to learn that their priest was accused when he fails to appear for Ash Wednesday services.

The announcement was a major embarrassment for Cardinal Justin Rigali, who, in response to the grand jury report, had initially said there were no priests in active ministry “who have an admitted or established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them.”

A few days later, Cardinal Rigali placed three priests on administrative leave. His statement Tuesday did not explain why he had made his initial assurances nor did it say why the priests had not been suspended earlier.

“We may have to be asking, what did the cardinal know and when did he know it?” said Leonard Norman Primiano, a Roman Catholic and chairman of the religious studies department at Cabrini College in nearby Radnor, Pa. He described the mass suspension as “astonishing.”

At a minimum, the scope of the suspensions underscored the grand jury's contention that the archdiocese had failed to clean house after a grand jury report in 2005 found credible accusations of abuse by 63 priests. And it suggested that potentially, predatory priests had had access to thousands of children for years.

The grand jury report prompted the indictment last month of four priests and a parochial school teacher. They include Msgr. William Lynn, the first senior church official in the United States to face criminal charges of covering up abusive behavior.

Cardinal Rigali, 75, said the suspensions were interim measures, pending fuller investigations. And he apologized for the behavior of abusive priests.

“I am truly sorry for the harm done to the victims of sexual abuse, as well as to the members of our community who suffer as a result of this great evil and crime,” he said. He is expected to address the issue Wednesday in a noon service at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. He has scheduled a penitential service for Friday.

Those on leave are not allowed to celebrate Mass publicly, wear collars or hear confessions. They were given a few hours' notice to leave their parishes before the announcement.

Once the identities of the suspended priests become public, analysts said, there could be a dam-breaking effect as there was in Boston in 2002, when initial reports led to more sexual-abuse claims. Since the grand jury report in Philadelphia, two people have filed civil suits, and Jeff Armstrong, a lawyer representing them, said he had received “dozens” of calls from others who might file.

“We're approaching this with a new vigor,” Mr. Armstrong said. “Like Boston, this is a watershed moment, where all of a sudden the secrets are no longer kept and permission is given to break the silence to this whole survivors' community.”

If charges against the priests are upheld, the church could face a payout of millions of dollars in legal settlements. The charges come at a stressful time for the church, with membership and parochial school enrollment declining. The archdiocese announced last week that it was closing seven schools in June; it has already closed more than 40 since 2006.


  Shedding light on child sex slavery

by Jane Yoon

March 8, 2011

"Child trafficking" is a dangerous euphemism for one of the most unexposed yet horrific forms of modern slavery. As the student-run Love146 concert cafe night highlighted Saturday evening, the real issue is sex slavery — now the second-most lucrative crime in the world.

Every year, it is estimated that at least 1.2 million children are sexually exploited. The sickening tragedy is that children are sold into prostitution every minute, and most people have absolutely no idea this is happening.

When you think "sex slavery," you might imagine poverty-stricken children being kidnapped off the streets of a third-world country. Surprisingly, though, it is an industry that exists in the shadows much closer to where we live and breathe than any of us might really care to know. Forty-five of 50 states in the United States have passed laws against human trafficking. Massachusetts, however, is one of the "dirty five" that has not.

Sex trafficking occurs all over the greater Boston area; there are currently sex slaves in Arlington, Cambridge, Braintree and both Somerville and Medford, according to Audrey McIntosh, a full-time volunteer from Not For Sale Massachusetts, a campaign to re-abolish slavery.

Let's not sit back and watch injustice unfold when there is so much we can do. Join an abolition movement, write letters to your state legislature, grab every opportunity you have to tell someone — your family, your co-workers, your roommates. In a world where two children are sexually exploited per minute, it seems we have nothing to lose and millions to gain.

Child. Sex. Slavery. Those three words combined terrify us. Society simply does not want to hear about it. On Facebook you can't even type the words "child" and "sex" in the same sentence without getting a notice of "error" from the system. It is such an easily avoidable issue — that is, until you see it from the perspective of a victim.

Imagine you are a young girl. A man beats and rapes you until you agree to be his prostitute. Your name is replaced with a number as your right to have an identity is stripped away from you. You have several clients tonight, and each time you are drugged and sold at a price. Tomorrow, you turn eight years old.

The girl I speak of is a child of broken dreams. We see her, but not really. In Boston, she represents the trafficking victims who wander mindlessly on the streets. They hang around train stations and bus terminals with brokenness in their eyes. They see no other way but to sell their bodies as a means of finding purpose in a seemingly cruel and loveless world.

As students at Tufts, we can scribble compassionate words onto paper and perform songs about caged birds and freedom, but where can we go from there? Is it idealistic to think that we are capable of making any real, lasting change? As Tufts sophomore and spoken word performer Barbara Florvil puts it, "Beyond a month, beyond a week, beyond a benefit concert, will you leave and think that child sex slavery is only an anecdote that has nothing to do with you or me?"

Without a doubt, child sex trafficking is an overwhelmingly invasive issue that might compel any student to turn a blind eye and run the other way. So how do we approach such a heavy topic?

The best way to get at people regarding the horrors of child sex trafficking is to approach the issue in a personal way. And this is exactly what the Love146 concert cafe night aimed to do. The whole point was that people should not simply toss their money into jars and walk away with lighter pockets. Raising funds would be meaningless unless the people leave having felt or learned something. Though the event raised more than $1,000, organizers had a less tangible dream in mind. As abolitionists, our job is to get the message out and get people's hearts to break for these kids. That's the only way lasting change will really happen.

Above all, we must focus on hope. We can fill our heads with paralyzing statistics, but we will never move past the horror if we cannot envision a world where, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, "justice rolls down like water." The most effective way of making a change isn't to scare people into activism, but to motivate them through the idea that change is possible.

Love146 emphasizes the truth that recovery is possible. The fact is that formerly sex-trafficked children in restoration homes are getting their lives back. Rob Morris, co-founder of Love146, recounts his interactions with a rescued child in a personal message on the organization's website: "I remember one girl. She was so broken that she would pour handfuls of dirt over her head, wanting to disappear into the ground. I can't even fathom that kind of brokenness, especially in a child. … Just a year later, she came up to me giggling and sparkly-eyed, asking to dance."

As activists, it is our responsibility to act as radiant beacons, shedding light on the heartbreaking and rarely addressed issue of child sex slavery. Even though sex slavery is such a distressing topic, we, as privileged students, have something to celebrate — the opportunity to make a difference. Sophomore Kristen Ford, a member of sQ!, sparked fire in the crowd Saturday night with a bold vision: "Yes, there are 100,000 children enslaved each year, but it's our responsibility to see that next year that number is lower … until one day we don't have to worry about the problem at all."

With that said, how dare we, as privileged and educated students, allow the victims of child sex trafficking to multiply before our eyes. As students on a college campus, where it is said that one in four women will become a victim of sexual assault during her academic career, we ought to be the most outraged, most relentless abolitionists of all!

As Mr. Morris believes, "There is but one coward on earth. And that is the coward that dare not know. And I think everything in us, when we hear dark stories, we recoil and don't want to hear them. But I think it's courageous to remember and hear the stories of children. It's not only courageous, but honoring."

Child sex slavery is happening today. And it is happening in our own backyards. As students at Tufts, we have no reason not to stay informed, advocate awareness and stand against injustice. We've heard the cries of the broken. The time has come to respond and spread the truth.

"Child trafficking" is a dangerous euphemism for one of the most unexposed yet horrific forms of modern slavery. As the student-run Love146 concert cafe night highlighted Saturday evening, the real issue is sex slavery — now the second-most lucrative crime in the world. Every year, it is estimated that at least 1.2 million children are sexually exploited. The sickening tragedy is that children are sold into prostitution every minute, and most people have absolutely no idea this is happening.

When you think "sex slavery," you might imagine poverty-stricken children being kidnapped off the streets of a third-world country. Surprisingly, though, it is an industry that exists in the shadows much closer to where we live and breathe than any of us might really care to know. Forty-five of 50 states in the United States have passed laws against human trafficking. Massachusetts, however, is one of the "dirty five" that has not.

Sex trafficking occurs all over the greater Boston area; there are currently sex slaves in Arlington, Cambridge, Braintree and both Somerville and Medford, according to Audrey McIntosh, a full-time volunteer from Not For Sale Massachusetts, a campaign to re-abolish slavery.

Let's not sit back and watch injustice unfold when there is so much we can do. Join an abolition movement, write letters to your state legislature, grab every opportunity you have to tell someone — your family, your co-workers, your roommates. In a world where two children are sexually exploited per minute, it seems we have nothing to lose and millions to gain.

Child. Sex. Slavery. Those three words combined terrify us. Society simply does not want to hear about it. On Facebook you can't even type the words "child" and "sex" in the same sentence without getting a notice of "error" from the system. It is such an easily avoidable issue — that is, until you see it from the perspective of a victim.

Imagine you are a young girl. A man beats and rapes you until you agree to be his prostitute. Your name is replaced with a number as your right to have an identity is stripped away from you. You have several clients tonight, and each time you are drugged and sold at a price. Tomorrow, you turn eight years old.

The girl I speak of is a child of broken dreams. We see her, but not really. In Boston, she represents the trafficking victims who wander mindlessly on the streets. They hang around train stations and bus terminals with brokenness in their eyes. They see no other way but to sell their bodies as a means of finding purpose in a seemingly cruel and loveless world.

As students at Tufts, we can scribble compassionate words onto paper and perform songs about caged birds and freedom, but where can we go from there? Is it idealistic to think that we are capable of making any real, lasting change? As Tufts sophomore and spoken word performer Barbara Florvil puts it, "Beyond a month, beyond a week, beyond a benefit concert, will you leave and think that child sex slavery is only an anecdote that has nothing to do with you or me?"

Without a doubt, child sex trafficking is an overwhelmingly invasive issue that might compel any student to turn a blind eye and run the other way. So how do we approach such a heavy topic?

The best way to get at people regarding the horrors of child sex trafficking is to approach the issue in a personal way. And this is exactly what the Love146 concert cafe night aimed to do. The whole point was that people should not simply toss their money into jars and walk away with lighter pockets. Raising funds would be meaningless unless the people leave having felt or learned something. Though the event raised more than $1,000, organizers had a less tangible dream in mind. As abolitionists, our job is to get the message out and get people's hearts to break for these kids. That's the only way lasting change will really happen.

Above all, we must focus on hope. We can fill our heads with paralyzing statistics, but we will never move past the horror if we cannot envision a world where, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, "justice rolls down like water." The most effective way of making a change isn't to scare people into activism, but to motivate them through the idea that change is possible.

Love146 emphasizes the truth that recovery is possible. The fact is that formerly sex-trafficked children in restoration homes are getting their lives back. Rob Morris, co-founder of Love146, recounts his interactions with a rescued child in a personal message on the organization's website: "I remember one girl. She was so broken that she would pour handfuls of dirt over her head, wanting to disappear into the ground. I can't even fathom that kind of brokenness, especially in a child. … Just a year later, she came up to me giggling and sparkly-eyed, asking to dance."

As activists, it is our responsibility to act as radiant beacons, shedding light on the heartbreaking and rarely addressed issue of child sex slavery. Even though sex slavery is such a distressing topic, we, as privileged students, have something to celebrate — the opportunity to make a difference. Sophomore Kristen Ford, a member of sQ!, sparked fire in the crowd Saturday night with a bold vision: "Yes, there are 100,000 children enslaved each year, but it's our responsibility to see that next year that number is lower … until one day we don't have to worry about the problem at all."

With that said, how dare we, as privileged and educated students, allow the victims of child sex trafficking to multiply before our eyes. As students on a college campus, where it is said that one in four women will become a victim of sexual assault during her academic career, we ought to be the most outraged, most relentless abolitionists of all!

As Mr. Morris believes, "There is but one coward on earth. And that is the coward that dare not know. And I think everything in us, when we hear dark stories, we recoil and don't want to hear them. But I think it's courageous to remember and hear the stories of children. It's not only courageous, but honoring."

Child sex slavery is happening today. And it is happening in our own backyards. As students at Tufts, we have no reason not to stay informed, advocate awareness and stand against injustice. We've heard the cries of the broken. The time has come to respond and spread the truth.


Alicia Stewart
  Female Pimp Arrested for Sex Trafficking Other Women

Atlantic City woman was pimping out high school girls for sex, police say


Police arrested an Atlantic City woman on charges of human trafficking after she allegedly pimped out other women.

Alicia Stewart of the Waterside Building in Atlantic city was arrested on charges of human trafficking and promoting prostitution, with additional charges pending, according to authorities.

Among the women Stewart was pimping out for sex were two Atlantic City high School students, police say.

Stewart's arrest followed a month-long joint investigation by the newly formed federal task force targeting child prostitution and human trafficking cases called the South Jersey Regional Innocence Lost Task Force.


Protected Innocence Report Card:

-Criminilization of domestic minor sex trafficking.
Protection: Moderate.

-Criminal provisions for demand.
Protection: Moderate.

-Criminal provisions for traffickers.
Protection: Moderate.

-Criminal provisions for facilitators.
Protection: Moderate.

-Protective provisions for the child victims.
Protection: Moderate.

-Criminal justice tools for investigation & prosecutions. Protection: Moderate.

Grade: C
  Group gives Arizona a grade of C for efforts to curb child sex trafficking

by Jorge Salazar, Cronkite News Service

East Valley Tribune

Arizona should have a zero tolerance policy for men who engage in sexual intercourse with underage prostitutes, a former congresswoman said Tuesday.

Linda Smith, founder of the advocacy group Shared Hope International, presented the state with a grade of C for its efforts to protect children from sex trafficking.

“There is an extensive tolerance of female trafficking in Arizona,” she said at a news conference held in the old State Capitol building.

Smith, who represented Washington state in the U.S. House from 1995-98, detailed the Protected Innocence Legislative Framework, an analysis of state laws conducted by her group and the American Center for Law and Justice.

The report graded states on their laws against sex trafficking, penalties for buyers, penalties for traffickers, penalties for facilitators, protection of victims and training law enforcement.

Smith criticized provisions in state law that reduce the charge in a child prostitution case from a Class 2 to a Class 6 felony if the girl is age 15 to 17 and the state can't prove the buyer knew her age.

That can reduce a sentence to 90 days from as much as 21 years, she said.

“There is no way to prove they know,” Smith said.

Amira Birger, a survivor of child sex trafficking who spoke at the news conference, said it's ridiculous to think that most buyers don't know they are paying for a sexual encounter with an underage prostitute. Birger remembers being placed in lines with other prostitutes while so-called johns picked them up.

“It was always the younger girls being picked,” Birger said.

Jami Throne, director of operations of Streetlight, a nonprofit that aims to eradicate child sex slavery, said the grade is appropriate.

“There are definitely areas in Arizona law that need to be changed to make it difficult for a customer to solicit sex to an underage girl,” she said.

Erin Otis, a prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office who specializes in sex crimes, said her office successfully lobbied for removing the ability of pimps to claim they didn't know a prostitute was underage but that lawmakers haven't been willing to remove it for buyers.

Another way to attack the problem, she said, is tougher penalties for those caught paying underage girls for sex.

“We have many long hours ahead of us in order to work harder to bring penalties where they need to be,” Otis said.


Third person charged for sex trafficking in Gaithersburg

Police: Trio recruited, prostituted teenager

The United States Attorney's Office has charged a third person suspected of participating in a sex trafficking group that was caught in a police sting in Gaithersburg's Toys "R" Us parking lot last April.

James Monroe Davis, 24, of Washington, D.C., met a 15-year-old girl in spring 2010 and recruited her to work for him as a prostitute, according to court documents.

Davis pleaded not guilty to the charge in an initial court appearance Tuesday morning at the U. S. District Court of Maryland in Greenbelt.

Davis was indicted by a federal grand jury in Greenbelt on Feb. 23. He is charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking, use of interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor, and transporting a minor to engage in prostitution.

Three of the counts carry a maximum penalty of life in prison; the maximum sentence for using interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor is five years in prison.

Davis' attorney, Paula Xinis from the Office of the Federal Defender, said she could not comment on pending cases.

Duane Mason of Frederick pleaded guilty Dec. 30 to sex trafficking of a minor after he was arrested with Davis. Mason's plea deal means he could go to jail for 10 years and would be required to register as a sex offender. The maximum penalty for the crime is life in prison. A sentencing hearing is set for May 6.

Mera Fraley, 19, of Rocky Ridge was arrested in April. A Montgomery County Circuit Court jury trial for the charges of pandering/human trafficking, prostitution and sexual solicitation of a minor is scheduled to begin April 4; a federal case against her could proceed after that trial.

Fraley is being represented by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender; a call for comment about her case was not returned Tuesday morning.

The 15-year-old girl was reported missing by her family on April 22, 2010, the same day Davis sent a text message to Mason stating "I got one ... I'm trying to put to work," according to the statement of facts that Mason agreed to as part of his plea.

The girl's name and other identifying information were redacted from court records.

The following account is drawn from court documents.

Davis was present when Mason took sexually suggestive photographs of the girl with Fraley, who police charged with working for Mason as a prostitute.

The photos were uploaded to an Internet classifieds website on April 25 at the home of one of Mason's friends in Frederick. The ad included three suggestive photos. It is no longer posted online.

On April 25, Mason and Davis provided Fraley and the girl with a Virgin mobile phone with $20 of minutes so they could respond to inquiries from the ad.

An undercover officer with the Montgomery County Police contacted one of two numbers in the listing on April 26 and arranged a "date" with the girl.

The officer was told to drive to Lakeforest mall in Gaithersburg and await further instructions. He was then told to go wait in the Toys "R" Us parking lot.

Another officer saw a yellow Nissan Xterra in the mall parking lot and followed it to a Motel 6 on Quince Orchard Road in Gaithersburg. Mason was driving the car and Davis, Fraley, the girl and two other people were inside, according to police documents. Mason and an unnamed woman rented a motel room.

The Xterra then went to the Toys "R" Us parking lot where the undercover officer posing as a client was waiting.

The girl entered the undercover car, solicited sex, accepted a $200 payment and directed the undercover officer to the Motel 6.

At the motel parking lot, she got out of the officer's car and handed the money to Fraley, who still was inside the Xterra.

Police arrested the vehicle's occupants, including Mason, Fraley, Davis and the unnamed woman.

Davis has been free under several conditions set by the court on Sept. 9, 2010. He is electronically monitored and must meet an 8:30 p.m. curfew every night.


Stephanie Lorenzo (right) - Project Futures
  Fil-Australian recognized on Int'l Women's Day

by Nastasha Tupas, ABS-CBN Australia contributor

SYDNEY Australia - In a span of 24 months, Filipino-Australian Stephanie Lorenzo was able to forge Project Futures, a not-for-profit organization that aims to raise awareness about the plight of young women who have been caught up in the sex trade.

The 25-year-old marketing professional was inspired by Road to Lost Innocence, a book written by former sex slave Somaly Mam. She constructed a network of Generation Y volunteers who were eager to offer their skills, time, funds and social networks for her cause.

Lorenzo was able to establish Project Futures after coordinating a charity bike ride across Cambodia which raised $79,000 for the Somaly Mam Foundation, a New York-based anti-trafficking organization, in 2009.

It was during the same year that the foundation partnered with her group.

"I'm really excited that this milestone has been reached, and I'm glad that Project Futures has become an outlet for young people to use their skills and talent for a worthy cause. I hope we can reach more people with this global partnership," she said.

The Project Futures team accepts no salary for their work. They are fueled solely by their shared aspiration to end the crimes of human trafficking and sex slavery.

In an incredibly short time, Lorenzo's leadership and charismatic bearing directed Project Futures into a successful movement that empowers Generation Y Australians.

Among them is Project Futures volunteer Natasha Layag, who nominated Lorenzo for Blacktown City's International Women's Day Awards.

"I joined up because I was taken by the fact that a Generation Y rookie like me built a platform for positive change," Layag said.

Lorenzo was recognized at the awards night held on Tuesday, on International Women's Day.

That same day, her group launched a "100,000 video campaign" which hopes to attract more people to Project Future's cause.


Evan Emory, of Muskegon, Mich., -- charged with
manufacturing and distributing child pornography
  Michigan Town Split on Child Pornography Charges



People in this economically pressed town near Lake Michigan are divided into two camps: Those who think Evan Emory should pay hard for what he did, and those who think he should be let off easy.

Mr. Emory, 21, an aspiring singer and songwriter, became a household name here last month when he edited a video to make it appear that elementary school children in a local classroom were listening to him sing a song with graphic sexual lyrics.

He then showed the video in a nightclub and posted it on YouTube.

Tony Tague, the Muskegon County prosecutor, stands firmly in the first camp: He charged Mr. Emory with manufacturing and distributing child pornography, a crime that carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and 25 years on the sex offender registry.

“It is a serious, a huge violation,” said Charles Willick, whose 6-year-old daughter was one of the students, all readily identifiable, in the video. “He crossed the line when he used children.”

Mr. Emory, who had gotten permission to sing songs like “Lunchlady Land” for the first graders, waited until the students left for the day and then recorded new, sexually explicit lyrics, miming gestures to accompany them. He then edited the video to make it seem as if the children were listening to the sexual lyrics and making faces in response.

Mr. Emory's supporters, including the almost 3,000 people who have “liked” the “Free Evan Emory” page on Facebook, say the charge is a vast overreaction to a prank gone astray, and a threat to free expression.

“I think they're making a very huge deal out of it ,and it's really not that big of a deal,” said Holly Hawkins, 27, a waitress at the Holiday Inn downtown. “None of the kids were harmed in any way.”

Legal experts say the case — and the strong reactions it has drawn from places as far as Ireland and Australia— underscores the still evolving nature of the law when it comes to defining child pornography in the age of Facebook, YouTube and sexting.

The Supreme Court has ruled that child pornography is not subject to the same First Amendment protections as adult pornography, since it is assumed that the child is being abused.

But with the rise of technology, said Carissa B. Hessick, an associate professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State and an expert on child pornography and criminal sentencing, “now we have situations where people are being arrested and charged” in connection with digitally altered images, where no child was abused.

There remains much uncertainty about how the law should be applied in such cases, she said. But because most defendants take plea bargains instead of going to trial, the courts are often deprived of the opportunity to sort it out.

Mr. Tague argues that the state statute covers not only filming a child in a sexual activity but also making it appear that a child is engaging in that activity. But Ms. Hessick questioned whether the Michigan law could be applied in Mr. Emory's case or “whether they've overcharged him.”

Even the Muskegon County sheriff, Dean Roesler, whose deputies arrested Mr. Emory after parents complained about the video, acknowledged that the case represented uncharted territory. While he found the video alarming and offensive, Sheriff Roesler said, “I realize the Internet is just a whole new arena that we're learning to deal with in law enforcement, and actual legislation is having a hard time keeping up.”

Mr. Emory said the idea for the video arose out of planning for a Valentine's Day variety show at a downtown club. He wrote the explicit song when he was 16, he said, and had played it in bars before. But for the variety show he wanted to pair it with “an inappropriate audience” as a comedy segment. He thought of using elderly people, he said, but decided instead on young children.

He has admitted that he deceived the teachers at Beechnau Elementary School, in the small farming community of Ravenna, about his intentions. Mr. Emory included a disclaimer with the video, saying that no children had actually been exposed to the sexual lyrics. He said that his friends — fans of Daniel Tosh and other edgy comedians on the Internet and cable television — all thought the video was hilarious when they saw it at the local nightclub or on YouTube. (It has since been removed.)

But the hilarity vanished when sheriff's deputies showed up at Mr. Emory's house and seized his computer and his iPhone.

He realized “they were looking for things that a pedophile would have,” Mr. Emory said recently during an interview in his lawyer's office, and it horrified him. He cried several times during the interview. During the night he spent in jail, he said, “I just thought about how much I regretted this and how funny it wasn't anymore.”

Since his arrest, he has been suspended from his job as a waiter at Applebee's, he said. The court expenses have forced his father, a power plant insulator who was laid off in November, to go out of state to find work.

And Mr. Emory, who has no criminal record, said he worried that people who did not know him would think he was a child pornographer. While out on bond, he is restricted from having contact with children or performing music.

In an interview with the local NBC affiliate ahortly after his arrest, Mr. Emory, asked if he regretted making the video, said, “I guess we'll see how many views it gets on the Internet.”

The acrimony over the case has been heightened in a small town where relationships often stretch back decades. Mr. Emory attended Beechnau Elementary and has known some of the teachers there all of his life, augmenting feelings of betrayal and loss of trust.

Joyce Emory, Mr. Emory's mother, worries about running into people she knows and has hardly left the house for weeks, except to go to her job as a pharmacy technician. After her son's arraignment, she said, their car was followed by angry parents who yelled and took pictures with cellphones.

“I see their side, but they have to see my side, too,” she said, adding about her son, “The kids, they just don't think.”

The parents of children in the video have also been singled out — one mother received harassing calls and messages on her Facebook page from people angry about the charges against Mr. Emory.

Terry J. Nolan, Mr. Emory's lawyer, and Mr. Tague, the prosecutor, both from local families, have a unique connection: In 2002, Mr. Tague's office prosecuted Mr. Nolan for possession of cocaine, sending him to prison for six months — an experience that Mr. Nolan, who regained his license in 2009, said has helped him empathize with clients like Mr. Emory.

“He's a beautiful kid,” Mr. Nolan said. “He's got a great spirit.”

The fact that the sheriff's office found no evidence of child pornography in Mr. Emory's home or computer is helping to nourish the seed of compromise.

Mr. Tague defends his original charge but says he wants to resolve the case in a way “that will send a message that this is wrong but will not ruin the young man's life.”

One path under discussion, Mr. Nolan said, would be for Mr. Emory to plead to a lesser charge, receiving some jail time, probation and community service. He would not have to register as a sex offender. But any deal would need approval from a judge. A hearing is set for next Monday, Mr. Nolan said.

Mr. Willick and other parents said they were happy that Mr. Tague took an aggressive stand, if only to help keep it from happening again.

But the anger is far from gone.

“Does 20 years fit the crime? No,” said Dan Peebles, one of the parents. But, he added, “Would I care if he got 20 years? No.”


Gary Traynham -- jury found him guilty of
assault on his ex-girlfriend in Sanford
  Man who triggered Amber Alert is convicted

by Glenn Jordan

ALFRED, OREGON — The man who triggered Maine's first Amber Alert when he fled the state with his 2-year-old daughter in November 2009 was convicted Monday of aggravated assault and criminal restraint.

But jurors deadlocked on the most serious of the four charges from the incident.

Gary Traynham, 39, of Kennebunk was charged with gross sexual assault in the violent encounter he had with his ex-girlfriend in Sanford before he took their daughter to New Hampshire.

The jury of six men and six women remained hung on that charge and on a burglary charge.

Traynham has spent more than 15 months in the York County Jail since his arrest. He will be sentenced later this month in York County Superior Court.

Aggravated assault is a felony that's punishable by as much as 10 years in prison. Criminal restraint is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of 364 days. Gross sexual assault carries a penalty of as much as 30 years in prison.

"You hope they could reach a verdict on all counts," said Assistant District Attorney Thad West, who said in his opening statement March 1 that the state intended to prove that Traynham raped Lisa Gould in front of their child.

He said it will be "some time" before prosecutors decide whether to retry Traynham on the rape and burglary charges.

West said he was encouraged by the two convictions on the lesser charges.

Traynham's attorney, Amy Fairfield, praised the jury for thoughtful deliberations.

"You could tell that they were really grappling with the evidence that was presented, and there was a lot," she said. "It was a tough case."

After hearing closing arguments on Friday, the jury deliberated for three hours before adjourning for the weekend.

On Monday morning, jurors asked Justice G. Arthur Brennan for clarification on the four charges, and he explained each in detail shortly before 10 a.m.

At 2:30 p.m., the jury foreman sent a note to Brennan indicating jurors' inability to reach a unanimous decision on the two charges. Brennan called the jurors back to the courtroom and asked them to continue deliberating with an open mind.

After a little less than an hour of further consideration, the jurors returned, still deadlocked on the two charges.

The only family members in the courtroom Monday were those of Traynham. They declined comment after the verdicts.

Fairfield said Traynham was "thrilled" about not being convicted of rape. She said forensic evidence failed to support Gould's allegation, and said there were inconsistencies between statements made to police in October and at trial last week.

"I don't know if the state is going to retry," Fairfield said. "I guess I would be surprised if we did this all over again."

Fairfield said she considers Traynham a good candidate for probation in addition to some jail time. She lamented the nearly 16 months between his arrest and trial.

"The reason it took so long to get it to trial is that it took us (nine months) to get forensics," she said. "I don't fault the lab people at all. I think it's just another function of understaffed, underbudgeted state agencies."

Fairfield and West plan to meet with Brennan later this week to set a sentencing date.

Traynham prompted the Amber Alert on Nov. 9, 2009, when he fled with 2-year-old Hailey after the encounter with Gould.

The Amber Alert program is a partnership of law enforcement, broadcasters, transportation agencies and the wireless communications industry to activate an urgent bulletin in the event of a child abduction. Although the national program had been active for seven years at that point, it had never been triggered in Maine.

The alert about Traynham went out on television, radio, Internet sites and message boards on the Maine Turnpike.

The next day, he was found on a dirt road in Milton, N.H., by a hunter who persuaded him to turn himself in to authorities.


Philip Gaughan, with his wife -- alleges that the
Archdiocese of Philadelphia engaged in fraud,
concealment, & conspiracy to endanger children
  Delaware man sues Philadelphia Archdiocese, alleging abuse by priest

by John P. Martin

Inquirer Staff Writer

A Delaware man on Monday became the latest alleged abuse victim to sue the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, contending that its leaders failed to stop a Northeast Philadelphia pastor from molesting him when he was a teen, and that its employees were unresponsive when he sought their help as an adult.

Philip Gaughan, 31, said he came forward to spare others from being victims.

"I don't want anybody to have to go through what I've had to go through," Gaughan said, flanked by his wife, father, and lawyers at a news conference outside City Hall. "No child should have to go through this ever again."

Gaughan's lawsuit says the Rev. John E. Gillespie molested him between 1994 and 1997, when Gaughan was a sacristan and Gillespie was pastor at Our Lady of Calvary Church along Knights Road.

According to the 2005 grand-jury report on sexually abusive clergy in the archdiocese, Gillespie had "admitted molesting several boys over his many years as a priest." He died in 2008.

Gaughan said that he contacted the archdiocese victim-assistance program last fall, but that it was slow to help.

He said he had two 10-minute phone conversations about treatment, but after that, "I never heard back."

The archdiocese declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The suit names as defendants Gillespie; Msgr. William Lynn, who as secretary for clergy was responsible for assigning diocesan priests; Cardinals Anthony Bevilacqua and Justin Rigali; and two victim-assistance staffers. It alleges that they engaged in fraud, concealment, and conspiracy to endanger children, and seeks more than $50,000 in damages.

Last month, as a result of a second grand-jury report, Lynn became the first ranking church official nationwide charged with endangerment stemming from his role in reassigning and protecting abusive priests. Three other area priests and a former schoolteacher were charged with molesting minors.

Gaughan's complaint mirrors one filed by the same lawyers for an unidentified man last month, after the grand-jury report vilified the archdiocese's recent attempts at reform.

The lawyers, Marci Hamilton and Dan Monahan, say more such suits are looming. Each suit, they said, will echo an assertion by the grand jury: Church leaders were at times more concerned with protecting priests or the archdiocese than with protecting children.

According to the 2005 report, Gillespie admitted in 1994 that he had molested boys but was allowed to keep his position as pastor for six years after that.

Gaughan said he is now an overprotective father to a 7-year-old boy he rarely lets out of his sight.

Gaughan's father, also named Philip, said Gillespie had been a family friend for 40 years.

His hope, the elder Gaughan said, is "that Phil's courage in coming out may help one other individual, may help one family suspecting that their son or daughter is dealing with an issue - not to pry, not to question, but to be there to listen."


Center to aid sex-trade victims

Salvation Army to open 'The Well' site on Thursday

March 8, 2011

by Jeb Phillips


The Salvation Army in Greater Columbus plans to open a new center on Thursday for women who are victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.

But staff members don't plan to tell the public quite where it is.

"We want to make sure the women are safe," said Trish Smouse, manager of the Salvation Army's anti-human-trafficking program.

The new center, called the Well, will offer counseling, food and a relaxing place to hang out, Smouse said. It might offer a break from a life on the streets, or a first step away from that life, she said.

Central Ohio has women's crisis centers and shelters that are doing good work and offer some of the same services, said Michelle Hannan, director of professional and community services for the Salvation Army.

But victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation have experienced a particular kind of trauma, she said. They may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or have difficulty in group situations, and the staff members and volunteers at the Well will have special training to deal with those issues.

The Well will not offer the women a place to stay, but residential services might be possible in the future, Hannan said.

Sex trafficking conjures up images of foreign women smuggled into the United States. That does happen, Smouse said. But federal law defines sex trafficking as a "commercial sex act" induced by force, fraud or coercion, or performed by anyone younger than 18.

That means that victims of sex trafficking in Columbus can be from Columbus. Of the 89 women that the local Salvation Army has worked with since 2007, more than 80 percent were from the United States, Smouse said.

The Salvation Army is the lead agency of the larger Central Ohio Rescue and Restore coalition, which works on issues of human trafficking.

The new center is in the Weinland Park area - the Salvation Army will say that much. The women themselves can find the address through a human-trafficking hot line run by the coalition, and the Salvation Army goes out on the streets every week to find women who might need help, Smouse said.

The turnout might be small, said Shannon Fraser, a social-work major at Cedarville University in Greene County who will help staff the Well. In the beginning, the center will be open only from noon to 9p.m. on Thursdays.

"We may not get too many people at first," she said. "It's going to take awhile for the word to spread."

To report a tip or obtain help, call the Central Ohio Rescue and Restore coalition hot line at 614-285-4357 . To learn about how to donate to or volunteer with the Well, call 614-358-2614 .


Child sex trafficking in the Northwest

The much-talked about pornography debate at Eastlake Community Church was in part to raise awareness of how porn has destroyed families, but also to raise money for organizations that are trying to end the sex trafficking of women and children.

This kind of exploitation of children can take many forms, including forcing a child into prostitution or child pornography.

A U.S. Department of Justice study estimated 244,000 children were at risk to be exploited by child sex trafficking in the United States, and the Portland-Seattle area is one of the top 13 cities they're concerned about.

Seattle investigative reporter Carol Smith, with Investigate West, discusses the issue on my latest podcast.

Listen to the podcast here.


Indian cities need special courts to fight sex trafficking


Mar 08,2011

by Nita Bhalla

NEW DELHI (TrustLaw) - India's cities and major tourist destinations need specialised courts to deal with the growing numbers of women and girls who are being trafficked as prostitutes in the region, according to a senior judge. South Asia is the second largest venue for human trafficking in the world, after East Asia, according to the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Swati Chauhan, the Mumbai-based magistrate of India's only court dealing with cases under the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA), said more such courts are essential as they focused more on the victim than on the perpetrator.

"The ITPA is a benevolent and victim-friendly legislation and its purpose is not only to punish the accused, but to prevent re-trafficking of women through a special court which oversees the rehabilitation of victims," Chauhan told TrustLaw. "I am the judge in only court in India which hears all the cases of trafficking under the ITPA in Mumbai. I feel that such courts are needed in Delhi, Goa, Pune and Kolkata," she said.

Over 150,000 people are known to be trafficked within the region every year - mostly for sex work, but also for labour, forced marriages and as part of the organ trade, according to UNODC officials. Actual numbers are likely to be higher as much of the trade is underground, they said.


According to activists, human trafficking is one of the fastest growing transnational organised crimes in South Asia. Traffickers often take advantage of impoverished communities, luring girls and young women and girls with promises of jobs as maids or nannies in wealthy households in the cities.

But, activists say, the reality is very different. Girls sent to India's towns and cities often end up as involuntary sex workers, sometimes detained in a room by their employers and forced into unprotected sex with multiple partners. India's bustling business capital Mumbai is a popular source, transit and destination station for traffic in women and girls, according to Chauhan. "We find a lot of girls from Bangladesh and Nepal.

They end up in Mumbai and they are in the brothels -- detained sometimes -- forced into prostitution work," she said. "Girls who are lucky to be rescued by police and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in Mumbai are brought before me and it is my job to understand their situation and work out the best form of rehabilitation for them to ensure that they do not go back into sex work."


Chauhan's court was established in 2008 after the city's high court found there was a backlog of 1,500 trafficking cases and ordered that a special place be established to hear such cases. All girls rescued from brothels in Mumbai are now brought before Chauhan, who works with a group of experts, including representatives from NGOs, on how best to ensure the victim is not re-trafficked.

Sometimes the girls are taken out of parental custody, if the parents are deemed unsuitable, and placed in shelters run by NGOs. They are offered various forms of vocational training, such as catering or beauty therapy, for one year, and then given employment with the court monitoring the entire rehabilitation program from start to finish.

However, Chauhan said, in many cases the girls already have become "hardcore" sex workers, accepted it as their fate and it is often difficult to persuade them that there are other choices. "Sometimes the girls say that they are doing the prostitution work voluntarily, that they do it will their will.

But the real story is not so. They have accepted it as their destiny because of no option," she said. "The court tries to show these girls that there are other options that are far less harmful."

(TrustLaw is a global centre for free legal assistance and anti-corruption news run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

For more TrustLaw stories, visit


Changes proposed for investigations

Bill 8 would make it easier for officers to get court-obtained personal information that could help locate missing persons

by Ben Proulx

ALBERTA - New legislation has been proposed by the Alberta government that would help make it easier for police when searching for missing persons.

Bill 8, the Missing Persons Act, would allow a police agency to obtain personal information needed to assist in finding a missing person in cases where a committed crime is suspected.

The proposed legislation would balance fundamental privacy rights with access to important information, such as cellphone and financial records, according to a press release issued by the provincial government.

Const. Wally Henry, media liaison with Strathcona County RCMP, said this change could have a very positive effect on missing-person searches.

"When somebody's reported missing to us, a thorough investigation is done, and as part of that investigation, trying to find the person's whereabouts or recent activity is something we look at," Henry said. "That can include bank or credit card transactions to see if somebody's withdrawing money."

He said that information could also be key in determining whether a person's disappearance is criminal.

"If somebody else has gotten a hold of their personal items, such as their bank or credit card, and as well if they have a cellphone, to know if it's being used," Henry said. "There is certain criteria that has to be met to be able to obtain that information to see if anything criminal is happening. In cases where we could get that information more expediently, we can see that being a benefit in some instances."

Before the introduction of the proposed Missing Persons Act, information vital to solving a missing persons case was only available to investigators if the police believe a crime has been committed, while under the new legislation, the information would be obtainable in any missing persons case.

Henry said that until the legislation is passed, information is only available depending on the case, and circumstances surrounding a person's disappearance. He also said that unless a criminal cause is suspected, which often times is not the case, obtaining the information isn't possible.

"There are a lot of variables that come into play as to what avenues we can and will use to find out where they are," he said.

"There are some instances where somebody is reported missing, but there's nothing suspicious to it. They just don't want to be found by a person who maybe is looking for them. There is a line that we have to watch that is in the best interest of both parties."

While the new legislation gives investigators more freedom to information that could help in finding a missing person, Henry was hesitant to say it could have changed the outcome of any other cases.

"I think to look at a particular case to see if it would or wouldn't have made a difference, there are too many variables that come into play to say definitively whether any one thing would have assisted," he said.

Should the proposed legislation pass, police will have to apply to courts to obtain the information, and fundamental privacy rights have to be balanced through the course of the investigation, according to the release.

In emergency situations, when the police believe the missing person may be at risk to themselves or others, they have the opportunity to demand for a specified list of records that are needed to locate the missing person.

The information collected under the Missing Persons Act would be confidential and only used in situations cited by the proposed legislation, with records and information obtained being kept separate from other police records.

Bill 8 came as a result of a resolution passed in the spring of 2010, when the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police asked the provincial government to develop the legislation, with Alberta being the first jurisdiction in the country to introduce dedicated legislation towards missing persons cases.


Sex Offender Michael DeSilva was arrested for trying to entice kids with his parrot, Mango. (Courtesy Huntington Beach Police)
Michael Joseph DeSilva
  Sex offender accused of luring children with pet parrot might have other victims, police say

March 7, 2011

After arresting a registered sex offender who is accused of using his pet parrot as a lure for young children, police are seeking any additional victims of the man.

Authorities are urging anyone who saw the suspect in the Huntington Beach Pier area -- and parents who believe their child came in contact with the man -- to call Huntington Beach police at:

(714) 960-8825.

Police released a photo of both Michael Joseph DeSilva, 65, of Newport Beach, and his parrot.

DeSilva was arrested and booked into the Huntington Beach jail on Saturday. The parrot, named Mango, was taken by Orange County animal control officers, police said.

Authorities received a call about 4:15 p.m. of a suspicious man near Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway who was talking to children and trying to get them to play with the parrot.When police arrived, there were no children present, but upon questioning the man they determined he was a registered sex offender.

After contacting his probation officer, police concluded that, based on his activity, DeSilva had violated his probation, Lt. Russell Reinhart said.


Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter and Sherrill Levitt
  Discovery Channel Show Tonight to Highlight Missing Women Case

(Video on site)

(Springfield, MO) -- A missing persons case that's had Springfield on the edge for almost twenty years is getting new attention.

Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter and Sherrill Levitt vanished on June 7, 1992.

For years, family, friends and law enforcement have followed leads in the case.

Springfield police say they have 10,000 pages of reports in the investigation.

Now, the Investigation Discovery Channel is making the three missing women the subject of its program "Disappeared".

The show airs tonight at 8:00 pm.

Janice McCall, Stacy's mother, says a show like this could offer a break in the case. "People that may have forgotten something or maybe remember now--this gives them a chance to call police and say this was really important."

On KOLR10 News tonight, hear what Springfield's police chief says about the state of the ongoing investigation and what the department's doing in the wake of this national exposure.

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