Tag Archives: Child Sex Abuse

ALERT! DOJ Summit on Child Sex Trafficking: Mothers as Pimps, Suburban families and lazy Social Services

(L-R) Barbara Amaya, sex trafficking survivor, Erica MacDonald, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, and Barbara Jean Wilson, sex trafficking survivor, at the Summit on Combating Human Trafficking at the Department of Justice in Washington on Jan. 14, 2020. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Barbara Jean Wilson was 8 years old when she was first trafficked. Her mother was the pimp.

“Instead of me going out, she would bring the men home,” Wilson said during a trafficking summit at the Justice Department on Jan. 14.

“I was fed drugs. I was fed alcohol. The one time that I had the courage to say ‘No,’ one of them put a gun to my head and said, ‘No one tells me no.’”

Wilson said she would plead with her mother for it to stop, but was told that’s how the rent was getting paid.

“And so I had nowhere to seek help and I just dealt with it. That’s how I lived,” she said.

Wilson was eventually thrown out of her home, and to survive, she got deeper into drugs and did the only thing she knew—sell her body.

By 15, she had a daughter to support. At around 17, Wilson overdosed on drugs, and ironically, that’s what she said saved her.

“The Holy Spirit came to me and said, ‘Enough is enough,” she said. “And I made a promise to God that if he got me through it, I would spend the rest of my life sharing my story to help other victims … [and] bring understanding and  awareness to those who don’t know what we go through.”

She’s been doing so ever since, but the pain is still evident. Despite what her mother put her through, she said she has forgiven her.

“She asked for forgiveness. I forgave her. I forgave my abusers. … In order for me to go forth, I had to forgive,” she said. “But it damaged me in a lot of ways, damaged me in so many ways.”

Epoch Times Photo
Barbara Jean Wilson, sex trafficking survivor, at a human trafficking event at the Department of Justice in Washington on Jan. 14, 2020. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Homelessness and Trafficking

Bill Bedrossian, CEO of Covenant House in California, said his organization is the largest provider for homeless youth in the United States.

“And by default, we’ve become the largest provider of housing for victims of human trafficking,” he said. “For a lot of these young people, they literally have begun being trafficked at 8, 9 years old by their family members, by the gangs, by the street life that they’ve been exposed to.”

A recent study conducted by Covenant House found that 20 percent of young people who experience homelessness are sex trafficked, Bedrossian said.

He said he has noticed a change over the past five to 10 years in both the sophistication of the traffickers and the insidiousness of the crime.

Kay Duffield, executive director of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative, said that in about 84 percent of sex trafficking cases, the trafficker uses the internet to sell their victims.

“One sex buyer said that buying sex was as easy as going online and ordering a pizza,” she said.

‘Traffickers Are Predators’

Barbara Amaya grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, in a home she said looked beautiful on the outside, but wasn’t on the inside.

Amaya said she was abused and ended up going through “all the systems,” including child welfare, foster care, and juvenile justice. By 12, she was a habitual runaway.

“I wasn’t just running away, I was running to find something,” she said. “And traffickers are predators. They prey upon the vulnerable.”

One day she was approached by a young woman at Dupont Circle in Washington, who suggested she come home with her to get food.

“She took me back to her place. And there was her boyfriend, who was actually her trafficker,” Amaya said. “They started training me for purposes of prostitution. I was 12 years old.”

Soon after, she was sold to a man who took her to New York and trafficked her out with other minors he had bought from all over the country.

“He had many other young people in different hotels around New York. He had two apartments in Manhattan on either side—East Side, West Side, and he would move everybody all around all the time to keep everyone off balance and isolated in that world,” she said.

Her trafficker became violent if she didn’t bring in enough money.

“He would beat me with a wire coat hanger … throw me down the stairs, throw me out of a car,” Amaya said.

“The violence occurred in his hands and also at the buyer’s hands. I’ve been shot, I’ve been stabbed. I’ve been everything that you could probably think of—or not think of. When someone thinks they’re buying you, they think they can do whatever they want to do to you.”

Epoch Times Photo
Barbara Amaya, sex trafficking survivor, at the Summit on Combating Human Trafficking at the Department of Justice in Washington on Jan. 14, 2020. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

At around 15 or 16, Amaya was hooked on heroin and in Rikers Island prison. She broke out of the brainwashing fog long enough to tell the authorities her real name and age and asked them to call her parents. They came back and said her parents were on their way.

“I had all this flood of emotions because I’d been gone for so many years and I don’t know what they told my parents. I had shame, horrible shame—this is all my fault,” she recalled.

“I opened the door to the room. And I walked into the room, and it was my trafficker standing there.”

Amaya said she still doesn’t know how her trafficker knew to be there. But she was desperate for a heroin fix and left with him, missing her parents by 10 minutes. It put her back into the life for another seven years.

“[The drugs] numbed my brain and my body to the existence that I was suffering. So by the time I was 23, 24, I’m five foot nine, 99 pounds, probably going to die. I knew that,” she said. “I knew I had to do something and I pulled myself into a drug clinic over on the Lower East Side.”

She recalled vividly how the receptionist treated her “like a human being.”

“She cared. I felt like I mattered. I don’t remember feeling like that, maybe ever,” Amaya said. “And because of her, taking time out of her day to treat me like a human being, she propelled me out of New York City.”

Getting Out

Wilson said victims of sex trafficking should know they can get out and go on to live a productive life.

“Don’t be ashamed of what you were put through, because you’re not to blame,” she said. “That is not the life that anyone should have to live. And especially a child.

“When you see those young girls and those young boys out there on the street, they’re not out there because they want to be. They’re out there because they have no place to go. They don’t trust anyone.”

Bedrossian said a common thread in homeless and trafficked youth is that they crave love and belonging.

“We all long for significance in our lives,” he said. “The No. 1 deterrent from a young person to become trafficked is having a meaningful relationship, positive relationship with an adult in their life.”

BY CHARLOTTE CUTHBERTSON

ALERT NY PARENTS: Loophole Lets Sex Offenders Live Near Pre-K Programs

kindergarten

A loophole in state law is allowing dozens of sex offenders to live near pre-kindergarten programs throughout the city, according to a report released Tuesday.

The report — based on an investigation by the state Senate Independent Democratic Conference — found that at least 93 convicted child molesters legally live within 1,000 feet of pre-K programs in the five boroughs.

The investigation also found that an additional 60 predators are violating state law by living within 1,000 feet of pre-K classes located within schools.

State law prohibits sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools — but there’s no provision covering stand-alone pre-kindergarten programs.

“What we found is mind-boggling,” said Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), the head of the IDC.

“With a growing number of students attending pre-kindergarten programs, this glaring loophole in the law allowing predators to live right next door to children must be closed.”

For three years, the GOP-controlled state Senate has passed a bill to close the pre-K loophole.

But each year, corresponding legislation has died in the Democratic-controlled Assembly.

“Sometimes in the Assembly they feel that if you enhance any types of criminal penalties, somehow you have a disproportionate impact on our communities of color,” Klein said.

“In this case, certainly no one can say that we should be supportive of anyone who commits crimes against children.”

A spokesman for the Assembly did not return a message for comment.

The borough with the most sexual predators legally living near pre-K programs is Queens, with 33. The Bronx is a close second, with 32. There are 22 in Brooklyn, five in Manhattan and only one on Staten Island.

Cynthia Arroyo, who teaches at the Twinkle Star pre-K program in Inwood, said she plans to make calls to several Assembly members.

“It makes us feel unprotected,” she said of the loophole.

JFK: Choate Prep School Investigation Uncovers Decades Of Sexual Abuse

JFK Choate Prep School

An internal investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at the elite Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school found a four-decade pattern of abuse, including a dozen former teachers who sexually molested students, at least one case of rape and a catalogue of the “deeply disturbing experiences” of two dozen students.

“The detailed content of this report is devastating to read,” the board of trustees at the blueblood Connecticut boarding school said in a letter to its community Thursday. “One can only have the greatest sympathy and deepest concern for the survivors. The conduct of these adults violated the foundation of our community: the sacred trust between students and the adults charged with their care.”

The board ordered the investigation following allegations of abuse in the 1980s and, more recently, an article by the The Boston Globe last year describing a number of alleged incidents. It follows a series of accusations in recent years of alleged sexual abuse at such prestigious private academies as St. George’s School in Rhode Island, and Horace Mann and Poly Prep in New York City.

Choate, located in Wallingford, Conn., includes President John F. Kennedy and his brother Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. among its alumni.

The 48-page report, released by the Choate board of trustees, found that none of the teachers’ actions, including “intimate kissing” and “intimate touching,” was reported to the police. In some cases, teachers confronted with evidence of their behavior were allowed to resign and, in some instances, received letters of recommendations from administrators.

In a cover letter accompanying the report, the board offered its “deepest apologies” and said it set up a fund to provide therapy for the victims, particularly those who might experience “additional stress and anxiety” as a result of the release of the report.

The investigation, which involved examining letters and school records and first-hand accounts of victims, dates back to the 1960s through the tenure of four headmasters.

“Certain Choate graduates described themselves as having been flattered, at the time, by attention the received from faculty or staff, but told us they later recognized that the conduct had been abusive,” the report said. “Other graduates told us of contact that they recognized as abusive at the time, including forced or coerced intercourse, as well as other incidents of unwanted contact that led students to feel betrayed by faculty or staff they had trusted and admired.”

The report singles out 12 teachers by name in laying out the allegations. Five of them have died. The New York Times, which covered the report extensively on its front page Friday, said it tried to contact the remaining seven Thursday evening, but none responded. Some of the seven addressed the allegations to investigators.

In one case, a Spanish teacher was terminated after he was accused of molesting a 15-year-old female student and raping a 17-year-old girl in a swimming pool during a school trip to Costa Rica in 1999. According to contemporaneous accounts, one of the students said she and the teacher were in the pool, when he “told her he and his wife were separated (and said,) ‘I have these problems. I am a man.’” He then, according to the students, began touching her intimately, removed his own shorts and forcibly engaged in sex, with other students nearby.

Investigators said the teacher, questioned by them last month, “acknowledged drinking with the students at the swimming pool that evening, but he denied engaging in any sexual misconduct.”

The report noted the administration’s response to report of incidents at the time varied widely. “When a faculty member was a long-term and admired teacher, action sometimes came more slowly,” the report found. “On at least one occasion, a faculty member remained until his voluntary retirement, some 10 years after a student reported an incident of sexual misconduct.”

The report delved into school files and found cases where reports by students of sexual molestation were apparently ignored outright by the administration.

One case involved a popular teacher, now deceased, who taught Latin, Greek and English and was a housemaster at Choate for 33 years. Three former students reported incidents of sexual molestation, the investigation found, including one member of the class of 1963 who wrote to the school administrators in 1987.

He was particularly upset because the school received accolades and a memorial upon the teacher’s death. “To many he was larger than life, a hero. I know now he was a dangerous man,” wrote the former the student, not identified by name but described as major donor.

“The activity that disturbs me much more, though, was his fondness for giving little boys backrubs in his bedroom, complete with sweet smelling lotions,” he wrote. “I know because I was there.”

Among the other cases:

• A teacher was allowed to finish the school year, including the winter and spring terms, even though a student and his parents reported the teacher made inappropriate advances toward him that had been rejected.

• A female student reported that one professor, who was the husband of a faculty member and served as an adviser to students, repeatedly kissed female students without their permission and asked one 15-year-old girl to go away with him for a weekend to have sex.

•  A male English teacher who taught and coached at the school in the 1980s regularly hosted gatherings at his apartment where he served tea spiked with rum. A 16-year-old girl told investigators that the teacher would take her off campus repeatedly for dinner and drinks and engaged in sex with her on students trips. She alleged the relationship continued when she was at college when he became “increasingly threatening, and eventually physically abuse, including stalking her at her college dorm.” Investigators said the man refused, through his lawyer, to talk to them.

Doug Stanglin , USA TODAY

Elijah Wood: Hollywood Full of ‘Organized’ Child Sex Abuse

For years I have talked about the epidemic of child sex crimes in Hollywood.  When does the U.S. Department of Justice and the AG listen to the victims and indite male and female perpetrators of child rape?

by DANIEL NUSSBAUM

Actor Elijah Wood claims that Hollywood’s entertainment industry is rife with sexual abuse of young boys and girls — and that senior figures within it have been protecting pedophiles for decades.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, the Lord of the Rings star — who began acting in Hollywood at age nine — claimed that “organized” sexual abuse of children has taken place in the entertainment industry and compared the situation to that of notorious British pedophile Jimmy Savile.

“You all grew up with Savile — Jesus, it must have been devastating,” Wood, 35, told theTimes, referring to the late BBC DJ who allegedly sexually abused more than 50 young boys and girls in the 1970s and 80s.

“There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” Wood added. “There is a darkness in the underbelly — if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”

Wood got his start at a young age in Hollywood with a breakout role as little Michael Kaye in the Barry Levinson-directed 1990 film Avalon. He went on to act throughout his childhood with roles in 90s movies Paradise, Radio Flyer and Flipper.

But Wood said he was spared the abuse that many other young actors his age were subjected to because his mother did not allow him to go to industry parties, where Hollywood power players regularly “preyed upon” children.

“If you’re innocent you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed,” the actor told the Times. “People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey.”

The subject of rampant child sex abuse in Hollywood gained new attention last year following the release of the documentary An Open Secret. The film — directed by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Amy Berg — features interview with former child star sex abuse victims including Corey Feldman and Todd Bridges.

The film was, perhaps unsurprisingly, not without controversy — it reportedly had to be re-cut after a man’s sexual assault accusations against X-Men director Bryan Singer were subsequently dropped in court. However, the film also examines allegations made against other high-level Hollywood executives including Marty Weiss, Michael Harrah and child talent manager Bob Villard, who represented a young Leonardo DiCaprio before pleading no contest to felony charges of committing a lewd act on a child in 2005.

In his interview with the Times, Wood said that young actors and actresses who are victims of sex abuse are often stifled, because they “can’t speak as loudly as people in power.”

“That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people,” he said. “They can be squashed but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”