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Pimps hit social networks to recruit underage sex

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Printed Date: Dec 13 2018 at 2:18pm

Topic: Pimps hit social networks to recruit underage sex
Posted By: goodm3
Subject: Pimps hit social networks to recruit underage sex
Date Posted: Feb 27 2013 at 5:03pm

It started with a Facebook "friend" request.

"I was just, 'oh, he's cute, I'll accept him,'" a 22-year-old called "Nina" recalls.

She was 18 at the time, and didn't imagine that clicking "accept" would start her on a path to four years of prostitution across the country. "Nina" is a pseudonym; CNNMoney agreed to change the names of the victims in this article to protect their privacy.

Upper middle-class and college-bound, Nina had her plans derailed in her senior year of high school after her mother was sentenced to two years in prison for financial crimes. Lonely and looking online for male attention, she started messaging back and forth with a man who said he was falling for her. They talked about trips they'd take together as a couple, and about marriage, maybe kids.

"He sold me the biggest dream in the world," she says. "I thought he really did like me and we were going to live this fairy-tale life together."

They exchanged online messages for about a month. That September, while Nina's friends went off to college, she traveled the two and half hours from home to meet her Facebook beau in person.

The fairy tale ended fast. Almost immediately after she arrived in Seattle, he dropped her off on a street where prostitutes troll for customers and told her she was going to "catch dates."

Many would have run, but Nina says her deteriorating family life left her with a sense of desperation. She was smitten, and willing to do anything for the man she thought loved her. So she stayed.

Keeping the attention of her "boyfriend" required selling herself for sex, Nina learned. He was a pimp -- and she was one of a growing number of women recruited on social networks for sex trafficking.

There are no hard statistics on the scope of the problem. Law enforcement officials don't track how sex workers are recruited into the field, and unless the victims are underage, prostitution is typically a low-priority crime.

But recent prosecutions in" rel="nofollow - California ," rel="nofollow - Virginia  and" rel="nofollow - Washington , along with interviews CNNMoney conducted with victims and those investigating these crimes, illustrate how social networks are helping traffickers lure in victims like Nina.

"Pimps are professional exploiters," says Andrea Powell, executive director of" rel="nofollow - Fair Girls , an organization that helps victims of sex trafficking. "Often they're just spamming a whole bunch of girls with messages like, 'Hey, you look cute. I could be your boyfriend.'"

That's one way Justin Strom -- aka "J-Dirt" -- recruited the high-school girls he and his followers trafficked in Alexandria, Va., an affluent suburb on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. For six years, the members of Strom's "Underground Gangster Crips" gang operated a prostitution ring that ensnared at least eight 16- and 17-year olds, according to court documents." rel="nofollow - See the court records: Justin Strom's Facebook messages

The girls were rented out to five to 10 customers each on a typical night. The going rate was around $30 for 15 minutes of sex.

Social networks were among Strom's preferred hunting grounds.

The group "searched Facebook for attractive young girls, and sent them messages telling them that they were pretty and asking if they would like to make some money," one witness told a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent investigating the case. The" rel="nofollow - court records  include a trail of those messages.

Strom had" rel="nofollow - a collection of fake Facebook accounts . On one of them, for "Rain Smith" investigators found more than 800 messages sent out to potential targets.

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Posted By: AshBash89
Date Posted: Feb 27 2013 at 5:07pm
He is scum and so is every person doing this.

Posted By: yurika975
Date Posted: Feb 27 2013 at 5:08pm
That is so disgusting and so sad. Cry The men (johns) just are so gross. 

Posted By: goodm3
Date Posted: Feb 27 2013 at 5:18pm
I just don't understand if she dropped off why she just didn't run?

Posted By: BoutThatLife
Date Posted: Feb 27 2013 at 5:24pm
Hoes stupid.

There are 2 types of ppl in life.hoes and pimps. She the type who would have been hoed some way or another, sad to say. I'd have sympathy if she was like forced or beaten into that but she just dumb as fck.

Posted By: india100
Date Posted: Feb 27 2013 at 7:38pm
Originally posted by AshBash89 AshBash89 wrote:

He is scum and so is every person doing this.
I agree . Cry

Posted By: Finesseful
Date Posted: Feb 27 2013 at 7:41pm
You thought you was gone live a good life with a jail nicca talking to 17 yr old girls online?

Posted By: Princess_S
Date Posted: Mar 02 2013 at 9:20am
Originally posted by Positive K Positive K wrote:

Who was she living with after her mom caught that case? That's crazy she just hopped on a plane and went to Seattle by herself.
im pretty sure it was a bus..

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