Human Trafficking Did Surface During the Super Bowl: News Report

Credit: Bill Demarest/Nyack Free Press
Credit: Bill Demarest/Nyack Free Press
Law enforcement officials who warned that Rockland County could see its share of human trafficking, apparently a staple where ever Super Bowls are staged, were right.

A 15-year-old girl was recovered and 17 people were arrested at local hotels and motels after a six-month investigation led by the District Attorney’s Special Victims Unit, the Clarkstown Police Department Anti-Crime Unit and the FBI, the Nyack Free Press reported.

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe and Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan said that those charged range in age from 17 to 45 years old are accused of promoting prostitution, prostitution, drug possession and other offenses, editor Bill Demarest wrote on nyackfreepress.com.

“These defendants were arrested during an investigation of Human Trafficking," Zugibe told the media. "While some of the young women have stated, whether truthfully or out of fear, that they knowingly participated in the sex trade, others claimed they were enslaved and trafficked. Each of these cases represent a sad commentary on lives ruined by the money that flows through the illegal marketplace. In the end, the true victims of sex trafficking are receiving help and support through our Special Victims Center and community programs such as the Center for Change, formerly known as the Rockland Family Shelter.”

County officials had held training sessions before the waves of partygoers descended on the area for the week-long pre-game hoopla to increase awareness of the signs of sex trafficking. They reached out in particular to the tourism and hospitality communities, law enforcement, medical personnel and general public. 

The average age of children exploited through domestic minor sex trafficking is 14.


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