Brooklyn Sex Trafficking Hidden In Plain Sight

As a controversy rages over how to count child trafficking victims and larger questions of sex work and coercion, a sex trafficking bust in Brooklyn differs from the usual reported cases.

Four men were arrested Wednesday in connection with the case. CBS Local reports,

The alleged victim was a vulnerable young girl from a good family who in 2003, at the age of 13, was raped by two men and forced to become a prostitute, officials said. The woman said she was beaten, stabbed and forced to sleep with homeless men when the proceeds she brought in weren't perceived to be enough.

Of course, you can be a victim of sexual assault and not be from a "good family," whatever that is. But what they appear to mean is that the girl was still living with her parents and attending school while being victimized. She was even studying criminal justice in college, which is when she worked up the courage to tell her professor, prosecutors say.

Investigators suspect there were further victims. According to CBS, Since the Brooklyn DA "established its anti-sex trafficking campaign with a 24-hour hotline and posters across the borough....26 alleged sex traffickers have been indicted."

A case like this, hidden in plain sight, is another factor in the tremendous difficulty of accurately counting the number of people forced into prostitution, which is the ostensible crux of the recent back-and-forth (let's not call it a debate) between Village Voice Media and Ashton Kutcher.

Sources: Sex Trafficking Ring Broken Up In Brooklyn [CBS]
Earlier: Child Sex Trafficking Takedown Has A Problem With Ashton Kutcher