Around 200 people get arrested in child sex trafficking case after two years of investigation.
According to the sources, the victim was a 13-year-old girl, and her own mother is accused of selling her for drugs and money. An investigation named “Operation Stolen Innocence” began in November 2018, and on Tuesday, November 17, police arrested 178 individuals involved in the crime. Authorities said the girl was first abused when she was 13 or even younger. She suffered from physical and mental trauma and is still struggling to recover.
Among 178 people, 72 are cited for misdemeanor charges and solicitation of prostitution—106 with felony charges, including lascivious battery on a child under 16 and human trafficking.
A high-profile booster for Florida University, Doug Russell, and a Physical Education teacher are also among the arrested people.Doug Russell responded to an indecent ad and was replied with the price of having sex. However, his attorney declared the accusations false, to which the court has decided to drop the charges if he pays a fine of $100 and passes the STDs test.
The investigation began when police noticed the pictures of a teenager on a website advertising prostitution.
Elizabeth Bascom, a police investigator, was the first to find that the child was being sold online.She was horrified by the case and said, “Where is our society going? You can order a meal and a girl simultaneously, and the sad part is, the girl will reach your door before the meal.
This is horrible!”
The defendants told that the mother takes drugs or money from everyone who wishes to have sex with her daughter.
However, the police didn’t reveal whether the mother is arrested or not.The buyers used to take the child to a hotel room or their apartments for immoral acts. Several women are also among the defendants and are charged for selling girls.
Police arranged meetings with the victim via social media apps; the investigation took months to complete. According to Florida law, One who engages a person younger than 16 years in sexual activities commits a lewd and lascivious battery.