A story about sex trafficking

Though this has nothing to do with our typical politically-based commentary, this is definitely worth taking a few minutes of your time to read.

A few weeks after their first encounter, Richard returned, this time alone. He explained that he and his wife had divorced, but he was ready to move on. Then he asked Brianna if she’d like to “party with him.” She’d later learn this was code for having sex with a client, but at that time she says, “I just thought why would a middle-aged man want to party with a high school kid?” She told him no, but that wasn’t the last she would see of Richard.

A few weeks after that, when Brianna had just turned 18, the man of her dreams appeared in the diner. Nick was a gorgeous blond football player dressed in Gucci, designer denim, and an expensive watch. “I noticed him right away,” Brianna says. “He flirted with me and made me feel so special and beautiful. I’ve never been talked to like that. When I told him I liked his watch, he said, ‘I’d like to buy you one to match.’ ”

Nick invited her to visit him in Seattle, and when she saw his chromed-out Mercedes and stately Victorian house, she felt she had wandered into a dream. When her family adamantly told her she could not spend the night with him, he told her to break her ties with them and move into his spare room. He also suggested she could attend college while doing a little work on the side. Why not try dancing in a club?, Nick asked, adding that his former girlfriend did that and made “tons of money doing little work.”

Within hours, Nick had taken Brianna to get an entertainer’s license, helped her choose her stripper’s outfit, and led her to a strip club. There he warned her not to make eye contact with certain men. She later learned this was to keep her from becoming the property of another pimp. During her second night in Seattle, she took the stage at a strip club for the first time, all the while telling herself that even though she was naked, she would have her clothes on in a matter of minutes. She did this for three consecutive nights, working seven hours on the last and pulling in $850—a big change from the $85 she made on her best night ever at the diner.

While the story I linked to may have occurred in Washington State, sex trafficking is also happening in our own back yard, as illustrated by this account from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from late last year.

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