Friday, March 19, 2010

Man busted for trafficking wife

By Michael Sheridan
Thursday, March 18th 2010, 3:43 PM

A Minnesota man has been busted in Chicago for pimping out his wife via craigslist — and allegedly threatened to hurt their 3-year-old daughter if she didn't obey.

Clinton Danner, 32, was charged with pandering after he traveled to the Windy City in order to allegedly punish his wife for failing to keep her sexual appointments, which authorities claim he arranged.

"He told her in a phone call that he was very disappointed in the amount of money she had collected during the weekend," the Cook County sheriff's office said in a statement, "and was personally driving up to get her so he could express that disappointment."

Danner allegedly used craigslist to book clients in eight different states, including New York, Florida and Georgia, as well as Washington, D.C.

He would travel with her and their 3-year-old girl, living in a minivan, while the woman engaged in sex for money, officials said.

Danner began pimping his wife, whose name has not been released, when she became pregnant four years ago, said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Erin Antonietti.

"He met his wife when he was 27 and she was 17 while he was her church youth counselor," Antonietti told the court during Danner's bond hearing on Wednesday.

"She became pregnant with his child and he continued to pimp her out while she was pregnant."

Authorities claim he forced her to have sex with strangers in Minnesota, but in the past six months expanded his business nationwide, flying her to different locations for rendezvous with men.

The woman had attempted to flee but feared for her child's safety.

"The victim indicated said Danner regularly threatened he would take the child away from her or harm the child if she did not comply with his demands that she prostitute herself on his behalf," said a sheriff's office statement.

"As part of his efforts, Danner never allowed the woman to be left alone with the child."

Danner's wife eventually reached out to the Polaris Project, an organization that combats human trafficking, which led her to the Department of Women's Justice Services, part of the sheriff's department.

"The victim was initially apprehensive about working with DWJS staff and spent the weekend carrying out some of her husband's orders," the sheriff's office statement said. "But during that time, she agreed to work with DWJS."

When Danner arrived in Chicago on Sunday, he was arrested. The child was with him, and both she and her mother are now together, authorities said.

Danner, who has prior convictions for lottery fraud, narcotics and burglary, is being held on $150,000 bail.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Massage Parlors in Macon

The Outdoor Advertising Association of Georgia

Meanwhile, the fight over billboards continues. The Outdoor Advertising Association of Georgia, which represents 65 percent of billboards statewide, points its members to a voluntary code of ethics that opposes ads that are false, misleading, in poor taste, sexually explicit or overly suggestive, said Executive Director Conner Poe. The group hopes to tighten the state’s standards for obscenities, and praised state Sen. Cecil Staton, a Macon Republican, for trying to crack down on massage parlors.

One provision of Staton’s bill would make it a felony on the third offense to offer massages or advertising massages without being a licensed massage therapist. Violators could be fined $25,000 and spend one to five years in jail.

Some of Macon’s massage parlors have removed the name “massage” from their advertising and names, but remnants exist. Four Seasons Sauna lists massages on business cards and its menu of offerings.iuseyhrw Soft Hands Massage & Spa is changing its name to one involving tanning, but keeps a Web site, phone listing and a billboard listing the old name.

MG ALERT is still targeting billboards from CBS Outdoor, Olympus Outdoor Advertising and InSite Media.

Olympus doesn’t think the removal of inoffensive billboard advertisements would end prostitution and human trafficking, Marketing Director Renata McCreary said in a statement.

“While Olympus does not condone illegal activities, as long as these businesses are still operating, we have to assume they are legal and have the right to advertise,” she wrote. “If the businesses are operating illegally, it is up to the authorities to shut them down.”

The governments of Macon and Bibb County are both considering stricter business regulations for massage parlors.

Efforts elsewhere have eliminated many of the businesses.

McCreary said Olympus will continue to monitor the situation.

InSite Media President Glenn Flutie said last week he hadn’t heard of MG ALERT’s efforts, but said, “If there’s human trafficking, we want nothing to do with that.”

The company’s lawyer, Marlyn Friend, later said the company also was “against the exploitation of minors (and others) in sexual activity.”

He refused to comment on the controversy or say whether the company would no longer accept massage-parlor ads.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Local Woman Helps Daughter Heal, Works To Toughen Sex Trafficking Laws

For terrifying 8 days, Vicki Zito had no idea where her daughter was; if she was dead or alive.
"People are coming to Sacramento for the purpose of having sex with children. Do they know what they're doing? Of course they do," Zito said.

At 17 her daughter was held captive by a human trafficker and sold over Craig's List for sex. The FBI finally found her at a Motel 6 in Fremont.

"In the eyes of the law, justice has been served. In eyes of a mother of a victim..." Zito finishes the thought be shaking her head 'no.'

That's why she's behind a push to make human trafficking a more serious crime. In California right now, the man who kept her daughter captive would only face 4 to 8 years in prison. That would become a possible life sentence. And, under the new law, the money he made would be used to help victims of trafficking.

Because what we all want to hear right now is the happiest possible ending to a horrible story.

"We are doing the best we can. She is doing the best she can to try to recover and move on with this. Is she okay? I wish I could say she's okay. Because emotionally she's not okay. And as her mom, I will never be okay until I can say my child's okay," Zito said.

Copyright © 2010, KTXL-TV

Monday, March 8, 2010

What's a Prostitute got to do with it?

Everyone has heard of prostitutes. According to the dictionary, a prostitute is:

1. a woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money
2. a man who engages in such activity, esp in homosexual practices
3. a person who offers his talent or work for unworthy purposes

We see "prostitutes" in any number of situations: on the street soliciting would-be buyers, in the strip clubs offering a little extra for a lot extra, in the massage parlors where a buyer can get a "special" massage.

Now, according to Refdesk, the term "victim" is:

1. a person or thing that suffers harm, death, etc., from another or from some adverse act, circumstance, etc. victims of tyranny
2. a person who is tricked or swindled; dupe
3. a living person or animal sacrificed in a religious rite

How many women do you know who actually chose the life of a prostitute. Granted, there are some. But the majority of women and girls out there selling their bodies for money are NOT prostitutes - they are victims!

From the earliest days of any rudimentary society, women have been the "weaker" sex. They have been dominated by men, forced to live in men's shadows, at the mercy of the rules of society that men created for their own entertainment and well-being.

And in the year 2010, it is still happening!

Women have come a long way since those medeival days. But, just how far exactly? The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s shot equal rights for women to the forefront of mainstream society's mind. On the surface, everything looks great, wonderful. We may even have a woman for president in a few years.

But, what about those prostitutes? The ones society thinks of as dirty, soiled, disease-infested. What about her? Do you think if she'd had a choice she would have chosen that life? Would you? Do you think if she'd been offered a way out of her abused childhood, if someone had taken a positive interest in her, that she would have succumbed to the life of a prostitute? We can't really say for sure. But most likely, not.

Most of the prostitutes you see could have had a better life, which, under our US Constitution, is our man-made right. But so many of them have been suppressed and oppressed by the whims of men and women who have nothing but hate, greed, and evil in their hearts. And yet, the majority of our modern-day society just looks the other way - or even takes an active role in these womens' and childrens' suffering.

In my humble opinion, a prostitute is a person (man or woman) who sells their body for money of their own free will!

A prostituted victim is a person (man or woman or child) who sells their body for money under threat of violence from another (a pimp).

It's time this modern-day, educated society we must STOP thinking of prostitutes as willing - most are victims.

It's our time to take back what we've lost! Take back what they've lost!

It's YOUR time to take a stand against evil and atrosities that are committed against the weaker sex and children.

Get angry!

Don't stand for it!

Get involved!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Expect Not-So-Great Things in Kohl's Supply Chain

In reading this article - I will boycott Kohl's until they make a significant difference in their supply chain!

Dear Kohl’s,

Over the last several years, I have fallen in love with you. In 2009, particularly, the clothes, shoes, and other home items I purchased -- armed with sales info and in-store coupons -- cemented my adoration. Add to the fantastic selection of products your charitable work, specifically in the form of Kohl’s Cares for Kids, through which the niftiest books are sold to benefit health and education programs in the U.S., and you have yourself a fan. Check Facebook: It’s true.

But then I read about your induction into the Sweatshop Hall of Shame. The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) placed you on the 2010 roster for inaction regarding unsafe labor conditions at your Turkish linen supplier, Menderes Tekstil. Four people died at this factory. Who knows what other atrocities are going on there daily? You certainly don’t, because, in spite of efforts by the ILRF and other groups to reach out and assist with a review and cleanup of labor practices at Menderes Tesktil, you haven’t done a thing.

Incidentally, I discovered this information approximately two weeks after purchasing bed sheets in your online store. I was not pleased. The sheets are “dirty” in my mind, and needless to say, I have trouble sleeping on them at night.

A company that claims to care about customers and kids, while supporting dangerous factory conditions for the workers -– the people -– in its supply chain, is inconsistent, at best. At worst, it is exploitive, irresponsible and weak for looking the other way. You tell us to “expect great things,” Kohl’s, and I really do. Tackle the situation at Menderes Tekstil and show consumers you care about a cleaner supply chain.

Most sincerely,

Angela Longerbeam

Join me in telling Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell to combine forces with ILRF in reviewing, addressing and ultimately eliminating unsafe, unfair conditions for workers at Menderes Teskstil.
Photo credit: hattiesburgmemory

Sexual enslavement case: Church trip to Alabama and Georgia may have saved Guatamalan girl

By Press-Register staff

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A church trip to Alabama and Georgia in which a teen Guatemalan girl befriended an adult woman may have saved the teen from a tortured life of rape, beatings, field work and pornographic films across the South.

The News-Press of Fort Myers reports that 46-year-old Francisco Franciso Domingo of Immokalee, Fla., has been arrested and more arrests are possible in what prosecutors described as an horrific case of human trafficking and enslavement.

"It's an ongoing investigation, and we have many, many other leads to run down,"
Douglas Molloy, chief assistant U.S. attorney, said in the News-Press report. "Unfortunately, sexual slavery and indentured servitude are right in our neighborhoods and the fields adjacent to our neighborhoods."

Authorities said the break in the case came when a woman at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Immokalee befriended the girl and Domingo agreed to let the girl join the girl on a 4-day church trip to Alabama and Georgia.

When they returned to Immokalee, the girl told her friend she didn't want to go back to Domingo's house, confided she thought she might be pregnant and then began speaking to law enforcement officers. It was then she gave officers a memory card she managed to slip out of camera when she was left alone in a room that had been made into a makeshift pornography studio.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mobile Modern-Day Slavery Museum Opens in Florida

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has come up with a creative and cost-effective way to educate Floridians that real slavery is still happening in their state -- a mobile educational museum dedicated to the topic. The free exhibition will tour the state, teaching about historical and current slavery and forced labor in the state's vast agricultural industry. But unlike a traditional museum, this one will actually offer solutions and actions Floridians can take to end slavery in their state.

Farm workers in Florida, most of whom are migrants, experience varying levels of exploitation in their industry, ranging from low wages and poor conditions to outright slavery. And when I say slavery, I mean slavery -- work for no pay under the threat of violence with the inability to leave.

Slavery in Florida is not limited to a few isolated incidences or a few "bad apple" companies. As leading modern-day slavery expert Kevin Bales put it, "There has never been a day in the history of Florida agriculture without some amount of slavery tainting the food grown there. That food leaves the hands of slaves and ends up in the meals we eat with our families."

One of the crops which has received the most attention for using slave labor is tomatoes. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has been working for years to get companies to create zero-tolerance policies against buying tomatoes from companies that use slave labor and to improve wages and conditions for tomato pickers. Thus far, they've been successful in getting Whole Foods, Subway, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Yum! Brands, among others, to sign on. Currently, CIW is pushing Florida-based supermarket chain Publix to ban slave-grown tomatoes from their stores.

The new mobile modern-day slavery museum will be one tool they use to inspire consumers to demand action from Publix and other companies. It will also showcase the harshness of modern-day slavery; the museum is a cargo truck similar to that in which two workers were enslaved in. Family members locked those workers in truck when they were not working, and forced them to pay $5 to bathe. However, the only bathing facilities provided was a garden hose in the backyard. Workers in Florida have also faced beatings, threats of deportation, and sexual assault during their captivity.

You can check out a schedule of the museum's stops here. The tour will end with a march to Publix headquarters in Lakeland, Florida, to demand fair wages and a zero tolerance policy for slavery from the company.

article at End Human Trafficking

Photo credit: willsfca

Police Stop Three Human Trafficking Operations

Montgomery County Police arrested 6 people involved in various human trafficking businesses that generated thousands of dollars across the D.C. area.

Police said 34 year-old Rodney Hubert, of New York, used three female associates to get a 15-year old girl to commit sex acts. The victim reportedly thought she was going on a modeling photo shoot. Instead, Hubert advertised the girl on Craigslist for prostitution, police said.

The women transported her from New York City to a Comfort Inn hotel in Silver Spring, Md., but police were able to track the group down with the help of some alert hotel employees.

"They saw a lot of foot traffic going in and out of one particular room," said detective Sgt. Ken Penrod.

Arrests Made in Human Trafficking
Arrests Made in Human Trafficking
The three women and Hubert were arrested on several charges including human trafficking of a juvenile for prostitution, sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree child abuse.

On Feb. 24 police arrested 24-year-old Deangelo Bynum, of northeast Washington. Court documents show that Bynum used Facebook to try and recruit at least one minor for prostitution. Police said he communicated with the recruit through the social networking Web site, but when he traveled to meet her, the minor actually was an undercover Montgomery County detective, and Bynum is now behind bars.

Montgomery County detectives' last arrest came on Friday, when they nabbed 31-year-old Arash Koraganie Ghulam Abbas, of Germantown.

He is charged with multiple counts of human trafficking for running an Internet escort service that police said was really used for prostitution.

"He is the master of Internet escort sites," said Penrod.

Abbas is allegedly the son of an Afghan government official. Police said he also used Craigslist.

"With the blatant advertisement of prostitution, tou are just a fish in a barrel for us," said Penrod.

All of the suspects face a maximum of 10 years in jail for the human trafficking charges. If the charges involve minors, it goes up to 25 years in jail.