In the aftermath of the Super Bowl, authorities announced that they rescued 16 minors in the New York City area from sex traffickers. In addition, more than 50 women who were also coerced to work as prostitutes were saved. Police from more than 50 law enforcement agencies spanning New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut arrested 45 pimps in a two week run up to the Super Bowl.
Before the Super Bowl, The New York Times reported that the NYPD had already made 298 prostitution-related arrests this year through Jan. 26, a 30 percent increase over the same period in 2013. CNN also reported on a New York City high-end drug and prostitution bust last week.
U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) has cited numbers from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that 10,000 women and girls were trafficked to Miami for the 2010 Super Bowl. New Jersey Attorney General's office ramped up for this year's Super Bowl by setting up a sex trafficking task force. Months of investigative work and training of law enforcement personnel, hospitality workers, and airport employees paid off in the recent rescues. more >>
Announcements made via social media on Monday indicate Ohio pastor Tom Randall has been released from jail in the Philippines, and his charges of negligence toward sex abuse and human trafficking at his orphanage have reportedly been dropped.
An update on the "Free Tom Randall" Facebook page posted Monday indicates the pastor has been released from jail in the Asian country. "All charges dropped. Tom Randall is free," reads the text on an image uploaded to the Facebook page.
A later update on the page reads: "Now that he is free, Tom's next prayer and concern is for the kids from the orphanage who were taken. Many of the boys have been found. However, they don't know where the girls are. He [and others] are working to find them all, and to make sure they are safe, secure, and cared for. Also, still waiting for word on Toto and Jake. Hopefully they will be cleared soon." more >>
The Southern Baptist Convention plans to host a summit about human sexuality and its relation to the Gospel in order to equip pastors and church leaders to speak about related issues within their own congregations.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) Leadership Summit, led by President Russell D. Moore, will address topics ranging from pornography and teen sex to homosexuality.
"As technology advances and the culture changes, the questions that we have to grapple with are often increasingly complex," said Moore, in a statement. "We'll talk about these questions, and how we can be faithful in ministry, gospel-focused in engagement and Christ-shaped spiritual warriors in the ways we seek to wrestle with the principalities and powers of this age." more >>
Two men filed a civil lawsuit on Wednesday suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for sexual abuse that the plaintiffs claim occurred on a pineapple farm in Maui, Hawaii, from 1986 through 1988.
Jacob Huggard, 41, and Kyle Spray, 42, both of Utah, are alleging that they were sexually abused by the camp's coordinator. Brian Pickett was responsible with overseeing the hundreds of teenage boys from Utah and Idaho who worked the pineapple fields in the 1970s and 1980s.
In addition to the Mormon Church, Maui Land and Pineapple Co., which owned the farm land and camp housing, is also listed as a defendant. According to a press release, both companies recruited boys to work for the company, paying them for their work while also educating them in Mormon missionary lifestyle. more >>
The increase in human trafficking among American children has prompted a faith-based rescue organization to partner with local and national churches for a campaign aimed at men in an effort to dissuade them from partaking in the sex slavery industry.
Seattle-based Compassion 2 One is behind the "Protect Her" effort that will launch this fall and hopes to reverse the desensitization of pimps who view minors as commodities.
"How do we stop human trafficking in the modern world? The response that we came up with was demand reduction," said Phil Martin, national director of Compassion 2 One. "You have to stop men from buying commercial sex and from entertaining the sex industry…it's the law of supply and demand." more >>
American pastor and missionary Thomas (Tom) Randall has been imprisoned in Manila, Philippines on allegations that an orphanage he and his wife founded in the country has been operating as a front for human trafficking and that dozens of poor children living at the facility had been suffering sexual abuse for years.
Randall was on a mission trip in the country when state and social welfare authorities apprehended him and two workers on Jan. 12 at the Sankey Samaritan Orphanage in Lucena City, Philippines, reportedly on allegations that he had been negligent regarding alleged abuse and sex trafficking at the facility.
Filipino media reports that Randall was charged with obstruction of justice, while orphanage manager Perfecto "Toto" Luchavez and his son, Mark "Jake" Luchavez, were charged with violating the country's anti-human trafficking laws. Another worker, who reportedly remains at large, Melvin Garcia, was charged with rape, along with Mark Luchavez. The men also allegedly allowed friends to abuse female victims. more >>