On June 6, 2018, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported that nearly 160 children were rescued in a major sex trafficking sting in Atlanta. Some of the children rescued were as young as three years old. The sting netted nearly 150 arrests. The special agent in charge of the operation, Matt Alcoke, told reporters these types of crimes are of high concern for investigators “because the victims are so vulnerable as children and because the offenders could be from just about any walk of life, from a gang member all the way up to someone who is highly successful and wealthy.”
Unfortunately, human trafficking is not a new phenomenon for Georgia. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were 276 human trafficking cases reported in Georgia in the year 2017. The actual incidence of human trafficking is likely much higher as criminals operating human trafficking rings try to hide in the shadows.
The Official Code of Georgia Title 16 Chapter 5 Article 3 criminalizes the trafficking of any person “for labor or sexual servitude” and includes more severe penalties for trafficking of children. Additionally, Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, has said she is committed to stopping the spread of human trafficking in the city. Despite the best efforts of law enforcement, parents and guardians must also work to keep their children safe.
Sex Traffickers Target Children
Sex traffickers often target children. The Georgia Department of Education explains:
Trafficking can involve school-age children — particularly those not living with their parents — who are vulnerable to coerced labor exploitation, domestic servitude, or commercial sexual exploitation (i.e., prostitution).
Sex traffickers target children because of their vulnerability and gullibility, as well as the market demand for young victims. Those who recruit minors into prostitution violate federal anti-trafficking laws, even if there is no coercion or movement across state lines. The children at risk are not just high school students — studies demonstrate that pimps prey on victims as young as 12. Traffickers have been reported targeting their minor victims through telephone chat-lines, clubs, on the street, through friends, and at malls, as well as using girls to recruit other girls at schools and after-school programs.
Civil Claims for Sex Offenses in Georgia
It is possible for victims of sexual crimes to bring personal injury lawsuits against the person or persons responsible under Georgia law. Victims of sexual abuse have a right to hold perpetrators accountable in civil court and are entitled to compensation for their physical, emotional, and financial injuries. If the crime occurs at a place of business such as a hotel or apartment complex, the victim may have a negligent security claim. If you or a loved one has been the victim of sex trafficking or any other type of sexual assault, it is important to be aware of your legal rights and options.
For More Information, Contact Williams Elleby, Today
Williams Elleby, is dedicated to getting justice for all types of personal injury victims in civil court. Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, Williams Elleby, serves clients throughout the state of Georgia. If you would like more information about this issue or would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby, today to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.