Her pimps sent as many as 17 clients an evening through the door. None of this happened in Bangkok or Costa Rica, places that have become synonymous with sex tourism and underage sex. It took place in Atlanta, the buckle of the U. Bible Belt, where the world's busiest passenger airport provides a cheaper, more convenient and safer underage sex destination for men seeking girls as young as A new federal law passed in ensures that American sex tourists landing on foreign soil and hiring prostitutes under the age of 18 can get 30 years in prison.
But in Georgia, punishment for pimping or soliciting sex with a girl under 18 is only five to 20 years, according to Deborah Espy, the Deputy District Attorney of Fulton County. Half of the street-level prostitutes in Atlanta are believed to be under 18, according to experts. Others are booked through Internet sex sites and from social sites like Black Planet, where girls innocently post profiles, said Baker.
Just in March, police arrested a Canadian man meeting a year-old girl he found through the Internet, said Cathey Steinberg, executive director of the Juvenile Justice Fund, which funds treatment for abused girls and prevention. Another man drove from North Georgia, with a bag containing a teddy bear, a love note and condoms, snorting methamphetamine on the way. He expected a year-old girl, but instead found Heather Lackey, a corporal with the Peachtree City Police Department.
The FBI has identified 14 U. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, D. Most youths caught up in the sex trade are runaways, like Brittany, whose year-old "rescuers" soon demanded a return on their investment. My mom hated me for what I was doing to the family," said Brittany, who did not want to be identified by her real name. Up to 90 percent of runaways are believed to end up as prostitutes, with a third lured into prostitution within 48 hours.
Some are sold into sexual slavery by their parents, according to a study by the Atlanta Women's Agenda. Some get seduced by recruiters. Pimps use handsome young men and sometimes girls as fronts. Once snagged, the grooming process begins. Typically, the pimp's friends sleep with her, then come threats, beatings and gang rapes.
Caresses and gifts, including drugs and alcohol, follow abuse, the Atlanta Women's Agenda study found. Brittany said she was showered with fancy dinners, clothes and methamphetamine.
But she also describes horror. It was demeaning," said Brittany. The sex slaves are trafficked in and out of cities to supply sporting events, conventions or rap concerts. The pimps even held an annual "Player's Ball" in Atlanta in , openly buying and selling women and naming a "Player of the Year," according to the Atlanta Women's Agenda study.
The risks are worth it. While there are few reliable statistics, child sexual exploitation is believed to be the world's third-biggest money maker for organized crime, said Stephanie Davis, policy adviser to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. One reason for the demand is the false assumption that youths are disease-free. On the contrary, with tissues not fully developed, they are more prone to lacerations. HIV infections among females aged 16 to 21 are 50 percent higher than for men, a study in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes reported.
Atlanta has won two new federal grants to establish units to fight the trafficking of underage sex slaves and to hire more undercover detectives, said Carole Morgan, director of the North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy. But the experts fear that may not be enough. It must be stopped.
Deputy Press Secretary for U. The Investigation On March 12, , Doyle contacted a year-old girl whose profile was posted on the Internet, and initiated a sexually explicit conversation with her. Doyle knew that the girl was 14 years old, and he told her who he was and that he worked for the U.
Department of Homeland Security. During future online chats, Doyle gave the undercover detective posing as a year-old girl his office phone number and his government-issued cell phone number, so that they could have telephone conversations, in addition to their online chatting. Doyle used the Internet to send hard-core pornographic movie clips to the girl and used the AOL Instant Messenger chat service to have explicit sexual conversations with her.
The investigation revealed that the phone numbers given to the detective were in fact Doyle s, and that the AOL account used was registered to Doyle. Doyle also sent photos of himself to the detective, which were not sexually explicit but did serve to further positively identify him. The Conversations On many occasions, Doyle instructed the victim, whom he believed to be a year-old girl, to perform a sexual act while thinking of him, and described explicit and perverse sexual acts he wished to have with her, in addition to sending her numerous obscene.
He also had sexually explicit telephone conversations with a detective posing as a child on his office line and cell phone. He attempted to seduce the girl during their online chats, encouraging her to purchase a web cam so that she could send graphic images of herself to him, and promised her that he would likewise send nude photos of himself.
Many of the conversations he initiated with the victim are too extraordinary and graphic for public release. The charges are as follows: The Arrest Brian Doyle was taken into custody at 7: We will go after child predators, no matter where they live, to protect our innocent children, says Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
This investigation shows that the long arm of the law can reach anyone, anywhere, anytime, who tries to harm our youth. There is no question that Doyle believed that he was having these disgusting, obscene discussions, on-line and on the phone, with a young girl. His conduct is vile and inexcusable. Polk County Sheriff's Office source: