Facing Life Behind Bars for Using Craigslist and Backpage.com

Greetings from The Slave Detective,

It seems the USA is leading the way once again by highlighting a tough line on Trafficking.

Tacoma, in Washington State, was inhabited for thousands of years by American Indians, predominantly the Puyallup people, who lived in settlements on the delta of the Salish Sea known as the Tacoma Narrows. It is home to  the third longest suspension bridge in the world!

It is 32 miles (51 km) southwest of Seattle has a population of around 1 million people. It is a great example of a small City in the USA which is suffering a depression. It is also a typical location where locals would say Human Trafficking doesn’t exist.


This week in Tacoma Alexander Walls, a 27yr old, was found guilty of conspiracy to transport a juvenile for  prostitution, interstate transportation of a child for prostitution, witness  tampering, conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion  and three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

The jury deliberated about three hours following a 13-day trial.

Well done them and the Officers who brought this case.

Walls faces up to life in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert  Bryan on March 1. You could of course write to him and encourage him to ensure he does!

Walls controlled as many as four females involved in sex trafficking – three of  them juveniles whom he recruited to work for him as prostitutes. Several of them  were advertised as prostitutes on Backpage.com, Craigslist and TNABoard.com.

Once again these web sites are breeding grounds for Organised Criminal Gangs in your community. You can prevent this!

In addition, a Seattle man and Bremerton man were sentenced, in separate cases this Friday, to long prison terms for human trafficking.

In both cases, the women were  advertised for sex using Backpage.com.

In Tacoma, Terrence Williams, 25, of Bremerton, was sentenced to nine years  in prison. In Seattle, Charles Deville Nash, 30, of Seattle, was sentenced to 15  years in prison.  Both men controlled young women, advertised them on the  Internet, transported them to “dates,” taking their earnings and through verbal  or physical violence forcing them to continue in the sex trades.

Now Tacoma isn’t the Capitol of Human Trafficking. What it has though is a tough stance on investigating and bringing Human Traffickers to justice for Human Trafficking Offences. These cases will no doubt strike fear into any persons in that region who turn to Slavery for a quick Buck!

In Salt Lake City a sex trafficking strike force was re-established a couple of months ago where Human Trafficking is to be pursued aggressively to stamp out such practices.

They arrested three men who were trafficking girls as young as 14 who were coerced into performing sex acts for Utah men who patronized the back rooms of three Salt Lake area “massage” parlors in a criminal enterprise, top law enforcement likened to the mob.

Once again I spokes person was quoted as saying.

“What is really troubling is that such a business can exist here.”

“These men (Punters) are willing to go out and are willing to engage in this activity. If there was not this willingness to do it, there would not be a market for it.”

What is good is that there is an appetite from the press to help raise an awareness of these cases. This is the thin end of the wedge, everyone is aware of this, but there is a willingness to tackle this problem head on and not criminalise the victims.

But how could you criminalise these victims. Many are children.

In Oceanside California a Mexican girl was discovered who had been sent to America for a better life but never saw the inside of a classroom. Instead, she became a human-trafficking victim.

For nearly two years, the 12-year-old was raped repeatedly, beaten, sold for sex and forced to work for no pay by a couple related to her.

Each of these stories are this week! Click on them to read the full press accounts.

The USA is a huge place but there is a growing movement socially to address Human Trafficking in the community and within Law Enforcement and The Government.

One such Community Project is a Not for Profit Company called ‘ArtWorks for Freedom’ who are partnering with Courtney’s House and GEMS in Washington, both awesome service providers to teenage girls and boys who have been trafficked and sexually exploited,  commodified, humiliated, tricked, betrayed and stripped of their most basic human rights.
Empowerment of survivors through photography workshops and outreach/awareness to high schools, parents of children-at-risk, churches and civic organizations.
This pilot project is designed to help the kids tap into their own creativity with many defiant acts of truth-telling.  No matter how hard the journey toward healing, they will know they have the power to draw beauty from a very dark place.  http://www.justgiving.com/ArtWorks-for-Freedom
ArtWorks for Freedom Singapore also included a 2-month Film Forum, solo theater performance by AWFF contributing artist Dawn Saito (about a trafficked woman) .  They also participated with a smaller footprint in a week-long “Free Your Minds” festival at the German-Cambodian Cultural Center (Meta House) in Phnom Penh.
In Washington, some of the images were displayed at the Stop Modern ‘Slavery Walk’ and in Metro Stations throughout September 2012.
For next year they are planning to hold five “campus campaigns” in the US — Mississippi State Univ, Princeton, New York Univ, George Washington Univ, and St. Thomas Univ School of Law (Miami).
This is just another great example of how YOU can get involved.

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