A lengthy investigative operation, which narrowed in on sex trafficking at the recent Super Bowl, has led to the ultimate liberation of 25 child prostitutes and the detention of at least 45 individuals. The adult suspects have been arrested for purportedly exploiting young children as prostitutes in New Jersey, federal authorities indicate.
According to a spokesperson from the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI, “High-profile special events, which draw large crowds, have become lucrative opportunities for child prostitution criminal enterprises.”
Authorities assert that 25 child prostitutes were saved by officers as a part of an investigation, which was kicked off in 2013. Most of the suspects arrested for the crime were either trafficking ring members or offenders who regularly work crime in the area.
Many arrests were pursuant to undercover operations, where officers posed to be “johns” and responded to prostitution postings. Police would subsequently arrange meetings with the child prostitutes and arrest those who joined them. Most of the arrested suspects will be charged with “facilitating prostitution” or “child endangerment.”
Moreover, the advertisements linked to the operation allegedly used language that suggested the prostitutes were adults; however, arresting officers say that there were overt clues and inadvertent messages in the ads to lure in those who were looking for young or underage women.
Over 50 police departments participated in the investigation. Overall, individuals were captured in the following cities:
- Atlantic City
- South Plainfield
- Jersey City
- New Brunswick
If convicted of the associated sex crimes, the suspects face serious legal repercussions.
Prostitution in New Jersey
In the state of New Jersey, prostitution is sexual activity or the offer and receipt of such in exchange for property or money. Prostitution charges might be initiated against adults, who allegedly solicited prostitution, participated in such acts or facilitated prostitution.
Investigating officers often employ undercover techniques to catch those perpetuating or facilitating the crime of prostitution in the state. As in the above-mentioned case, many sting operations involve false “johns,” as this is an easy way to locate potential suspects.
If you have been charged with prostitution, facilitating prostitution, sex trafficking or related offenses, it helps to have legal help. The state does not take such crimes lightly. Many convicted of these crimes face serious consequences. To learn more about your case and your available rights, speak to a local defense attorney.