Super Bowl Sunday's Sex Trafficking Underbelly

The group that helped kick "erotic services" off Craigslist is now going after Village Voice Media's Backpage.com for hosting child sex-trafficking ad — and they want a crackdown before the Super Bowl, traditionally sex trafficking's biggest weekend.

Michelle Goldberg reports that the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, having scored a victory with Craigslist, is turning its attention to Backpage.com. Village Voice Media is already being sued in connection with the ad referred to above, by a teenage girl known as M.A., for "aiding and abetting her pimp, Latasha Jewell McFarland, who has been sentenced to five years in prison. McFarland posted nude photos of the teenage runaway on Backpage and used it to arrange encounters with clients in highway motels."

That doesn't appear to have included the Super Bowl, but as that event's February date approaches, law enforcement and advocates are getting ready. Two years ago, in Tampa, 24 minors brought to the city for the purpose of prostitution were taken into custody. One man was recently convicted and sentenced to 20 years for offering a "Super Bowl Special" on Craigslist with a 14-year-old girl.

Last year, in Miami, outreach workers and a task force blanketed the city. A report by the Florida Commission Against Human Trafficking eventually estimated that "tens of thousands of women and minors were trafficked in the Miami area during the last Super Bowl."

The next Super Bowl will be held in Arlington, Texas, where Attorney General Greg Abbott announced a plan to bring two dozen state officials to aid in local law enforcement. The FBI is also on board.

Florida and Texas are both already hubs for trafficking of adults as well as minors, given their geography. According to the Star Telegram, in 2008, 38 percent of all calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hot line were from Texas.

Sex Slave Outrage [Daily Beast]

Related: Texas, Arlington Preparing For Sex Trafficking At Super Bowl [ST]
Advocates Hope To Rescue Underage Super Bowl Sex Slaves [Miami Herald]
Texas, Arlington Preparing For Sex Trafficking At Super Bowl [Dallas News]