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tv   Caught on Camera  MSNBC  November 2, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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they're all american girls raised to believe that the suburbs are safe. >> just because you make $100,000 a year and live in a fancy house doesn't mean it won't happen to your kid. >> that sex slavery is a nightmare reserved only for foreign women or troubled teens in the big city. >> we are made to do this. we are forced to do this. >> any family can be affected. it's not uncommon for the parents to believe, not my child. >> today, fueled by the power of the internet, selling teenage girls has exploded into a billion-dollar business. >> the internet is one large, global brothel where women are trafficked. >> where men can order girls without ever leaving the comfort of their homes.
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>> if it wasn't for guys like this, the girls wouldn't be getting victimized. >> the sex industry's dirty little secret involves girls forced to sell their bodies by ruthless men. [ shots ] [ bleep ] >> msnbc goes undercover and investigates "sex slaves: the teen trade." >> for most americans, stories of teenage girls being trafficked in america seem incredible. >> people even who are college educated think trafficking only happens in india and china. just because you make $100,000 a year and you live in a fancy house doesn't mean that it won't happen to your kids. >> by all accounts, the picture-perfect streets of birmingham are an ideal place to raise children. it's hometown, usa.
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>> i was an irish catholic, middle-class girl that lived in the suburbs. i had a nice family. i went to church. i was a good kid. i did not party and i wasn't loose. i was just a normal, everyday kid. >> back in 1981, teresa flores was a 15-year-old high school student. that's when her family relocated from a small, rural town to this upscale suburb outside detroit. >> i think it was the hardest move that we made. >> teresa's family moved every year as her father, an executive, climbed the corporate ladder. in 1981 that meant a new house, new friends, and starting a new life in a new high school. unlike the small, rural high school she had attended, her new high school had thousands of kids who theresa considered exotic, including a junior named daniel. >> he was very flashy and wore like ralph lauren pants that were, you know, ironed and loafer shoes and lots of gold
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jewelry and nice smelling cologne. and i was drawn to it. >> one day, daniel offered theresa a ride home. >> i thought he was amazing, and i jumped at the chance, like any 15-year-old girl would do, and said, sure. >> on the way home she says daniel stopped to show her his house and took theresa to an upstairs bedroom. >> one thing led to another. he kissed me. i'd always known when to tell somebody to stop, and he didn't. and i kept, you know, getting louder and pushing him and trying to get him off me, and he wouldn't stop until it was too late. >> for theresa, an obedient catholic girl, the rape was devastating. >> that was the most important thing to me in the whole wide world was my virginity. my religion was so important to me that this shame that that carried with it was huge. there was no way i wanted my mom to know that that had happened. >> in a state of shame and
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shock, theresa was approached by daniel a few days later at school. >> he said, i need to talk to you after school. and i was like, no way. i remember last time what happened. and he said, no. i need to talk to you. >> against her better judgment, theresa met daniel. to her shock, theresa says daniel showed her pictures of the rape that his cousins took while hiding in the bedroom. >> it looked like very compromising pictures. it didn't look like there was a struggle. >> you can traffic your next door neighbor, and that is what's happening to many of our youths. >> assistant u.s. attorney erica mcdonald says as shocking as it may seem to most americans, it's not unusual for girls to be trafficked out of their homes. >> people hear trafficking and they think it involves necessarily transportation. it doesn't. >> over the last two decades she has prosecuted numerous cases where men used every means possible to control teenage girls. >> with each one of these individuals there is something that has made them vulnerable to the trafficker. >> theresa says that daniel's
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two cousins threatened to show people the pictures, and she had to earn the right to get her pictures back. she had no idea what that meant until she got a call a few days later. >> he said, you know, this is daniel, and you need to come now. and i was like, are you crazy? what are you talking about? it's midnight. and he's like, they want to see you now. and i'm like, how? i'm in my room, i'm in my house, my parents are here. and he said, "find a way." >> barefoot and still wearing pajamas, theresa sneaked down the stairs and out her patio door. daniel drove her back to his house and led her down to an opulent basement. >> there were a bunch of men there, probably all in their 20s and 30s. >> daniel's older cousins approached her. >> you'll do what we say whenever we say, and when we're done, we'll take you home. >> the cousins led her to a bedroom where for two hours they beat and raped her.
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daniel drove theresa home. it was 4:30 in the morning. >> i was sore. i was bleeding again. i was -- it was terrible. i could hardly walk. so, then i went to bed and got up two hours later to go to school. >> theresa says she realized that daniel and his cousins were no ordinary teens. they were part of some kind of criminal network. flores says that three to four nights a week the boys would pick her up past midnight and use her to service them and their clients. most nights they took her to the same basement, where up to a dozen men would be waiting for her. she says sometimes they drove her to different houses where she was raped and sodomized for their pleasure. >> i was solely there as a material object. we're here, we have a treat for you tonight. >> i knew something was up. >> patrick, theresa's younger brother, recalls his sister's radical personality change during their years in birmingham.
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>> i didn't realize completely at the time. but in retrospect, yeah, i can definitely see exactly what happened. >> for almost two years, theresa says physical abuse and psychological terror drove her to consider suicide. >> i was very withdrawn and quiet. i was exhausted. and inside, you're crushed. >> ashamed and scared for her life and the safety of her young brothers, theresa kept her nightmare a dark secret. in retrospect, theresa says the hardest feeling to overcome is her anger at her teachers. >> i went from being a "b" student to a "d" student. and somebody should have seen that. how many days i missed from school because i was constantly not wanting to be there and saying i was sick and trying to come up with every excuse i could to miss school. >> these guys had a reputation in that school.
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that, you know, the teachers were afraid of them, the principal. nobody ever did anything. and that was the thing. the teachers just would turn their backs. they just -- it was absolutely terrible. >> there was, one time a security guard, and he saw me being slammed up against the locker door and being spit on in my face by two older guys, and they walked away laughing. they grabbed me and shoved me in the car. i was smacked across the face. some kind of liquid was being shoved in my mouth. an unprecedented program that partners businesses with universities across the state. for better access to talent, cutting edge research, and state of the art facilities. and you pay no taxes for ten years. from biotech in brooklyn, to next gen energy in binghamton, to manufacturing in buffalo... startup-ny has new businesses popping up across the state. see how startup-ny can help your business grow at
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for 20 years, theresa flores kept a terrible secret about the tortured life of her teen years. >> they threatened me all the time. >> when a gang of boys from school raped and tortured her up to five nights a week, she says they sold her to strange men who
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paid cash for their pleasure. >> they would verbally say we're going to hurt your brothers. we know what school they go to. we know where your dad works. >> scared and alone, theresa felt helpless. >> who's going to believe me if i told them that these guys were doing this? >> victims, for whatever reason, are extremely reluctant to testify, extremely reluctant to disclose not only to law enforcement, but to even those close around them. >> prosecutor erica mcdonald says victims of sex trafficking are often reluctant to seek help. >> the reluctance can come from a number of things -- from shame, from fear of law enforcement, from a cultural belief that what they're involved in makes them less of a person. >> i was so full of shame that this was happening. i was scared to death that they'd find out. and then what would happen? >> theresa's brother knew nothing about what was happening to his sister but understands today why she kept mum. >> people would continually say
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well, why didn't you tell somebody? theresa, why couldn't you tell somebody? because we didn't have parents that you could talk to. >> a lot of people think i made that choice. i could have said no. i could have told somebody any time. they don't understand a kid's mind-set, and especially when they're being psychologically tortured and physically tortured night after night. >> theresa says her torture included being whipped, burned with cigarettes, gang raped, and sodomized. often she would pass out from the pain. theresa says one night changed the course of her enslavement. it was on that night when she was called outside by a group of drunk boys who were friends of daniel. >> they grabbed me and shoved me in the car. at that moment, you know, i found my inner self. my real self came through. i'm like, i've got to get out of here. i can't -- i don't care, get me out of here. and that was the wrong reaction
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to have, and was smacked across the face, was, you know, some kind of liquid was being shoved in my mouth. >> terrified, theresa says instead of daniel's basement, the boys drove her to a shabby motel somewhere in detroit. >> and it was just one of those cheap, nasty, disgusting hotel rooms. the room was so packed full of guys, you could hardly see. >> theresa says that night was the worst of her life. >> and it was, you know, one after the other after the other. >> she says over 20 men proceeded to gang rape and beat her until she finally passed out. >> when i woke up, you know, i was just there naked and bloodied, and i had to throw up. and i ran into the bathroom, and i fell. >> weak and dazed, theresa found her soaking wet pajamas in the shower and dressed herself.
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with no shoes, she wandered into an all-night diner at the end of the motel. >> and the only person in two years that ever helped me was this little waitress in this motel. and she said, "can i help you?" and i didn't know what to say. i didn't know, like, how can you help me? what can you do for me? and i didn't know. i wanted to take her help, but i didn't know what to do. >> theresa says the waitress called the police. by the time the officer drove theresa home and woke her parents, it was early dawn. >> i was sitting at the top of the stairs. my parents had already gone downstairs. and i heard a police officer talking. they were in the foyer. and i heard him tell my parents. he said, you have no idea what your daughter is involved in. we know what's going on here. your daughter is not -- but she almost died tonight. >> they thought i was out having a good time partying. and they didn't notice that i
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didn't have shoes on, that my pajamas were soaking wet and torn. >> the officer tried to explain to theresa's parents that this wasn't a simple case of a partying teen. >> he got really loud with her and corrected her. and he's like, no, you don't get it. your daughter is in serious -- your entire family is in serious trouble, and you're in danger and you need to get out of here. you need to move. you need to do whatever it takes to get your kids out of here. >> before leaving, theresa says the officer took her aside and asked her to help him prosecute the gang. >> and he said, i know what happened, and i need your help and we can stop this. but i -- there was no way i could do it. >> theresa says any chance that she would cooperate with police and press charges evaporated the next day. >> i stayed home from school. my mom let me, you know, stay there, and she was furious at me, and she didn't knock on the door, she didn't, you know, say can i make you -- she was mad at
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me. she was really, really mad that i had been out and that, you know, i came home when the sun was coming up and the policemen brought their daughter home to the nice house, and just hoped to god that nobody saw. and it was like, all the things that i had thought that would happen if they found out came true. >> that day theresa says the family dog mysteriously disappeared. when her phone rang, she picked it up. >> i heard a dog bark and i heard a gunshot go off. and i just knew right then and there that they had been behind it. and i actually took the business card from the policeman that he had left me that morning, and i tore it up and i threw it in the trash. >> any family can be affected. it is not uncommon for the parents to believe, not my child. not my kid. >> theresa says her torture by
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these boys ended when her family relocated to the east coast, but it would be another decade before she could share her torment with her family. and though it's too late to prosecute anyone, she's decided to speak out. >> we're so proud of her. she wants to make a difference in one girl's life and save that person from what she had to go through. >> years passed. theresa married, raised a family of her own, and became a social worker. two years ago, when her daughter turned 16, flores decided to work to prevent trafficking. >> when we think of modern-day slavery and trafficking, we think of asian women. we should also think of female trafficking and slavery when you look at me. >> the mission is to prosecute. it's a violation of the law. if you see somebody you believe is under 18, we'll try to concentrate on that person. introducing the citi® double cash card. it lets you earn cash back when you buy and again as you pay.
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it's the world's oldest profession -- a booming sex industry that today experts say thrives on young girls threatened and coerced. for traffickers, it's never been
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safer to make millions. the men who sell women can hide themselves behind a girl they advertise on the internet. >> we take it very seriously. we've been working with the fbi for years. >> this is a craigslist operation. >> the oakland, california, police department's trafficking task force has conducted internet sting operations for years. to find exploited girls, they simply follow the internet trail. >> and this girl i really want to get to. she's 17. >> it's thursday night and oakland pd's human trafficking task force gears up for an undercover sting. >> and the undercover officers will be out there in these vehicles in high prostitution areas. they'll be cruising around. >> tonight, oakland's task force will send six new undercovers out on the streets to pose as johns looking to pay cash for sex. >> the mission is to arrest the prostitutes in violation of the law and/or probation. >> their target, underage prostitutes, many featured on websites.
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>> the younger the girls, the better. and particularly, if you see somebody that's under 18 or you believe is under 18, we'll try to concentrate on that person. >> sergeant tom hoganmiller knows that arresting girls is controversial, but he feels the ends justifies the means, a last-ditch effort to save underage victims before they are caught forever in the web of brutal pimps. >> it is sickening. and when you get these young girls, you're going to do everything you can to just keep them off the street, and even if that means placing them or incarcerating them, then we've got to do it. >> prostitution is big business in oakland. pimps rake in thousands of dollars per night selling teenage girls. >> if you have to take action, it's going to be imminent danger. >> the trafficking task force at the opd tries to combat the problem from all fronts. they use male undercover officers to troll the streets as johns and female officers to pose as prostitutes.
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they also go online and call girls whose pimps place ads on internet websites. >> hello. is jasmine there? >> and veterans are constantly training rookies in undercover tactics. >> we just put on an undercover school. what we'll do is take these guys out there and get their feet wet, let them try and pick up some girls and see what it's like through the follow car and the under car and that kind of thing. >> detective jim saleda is an eight-year veteran of the task force. tonight he'll be working closed cover keeping a protective eye on the undercover cops posing as johns. >> and again, if shots are fired, be mindful. again, you always want cover. >> tonight's sting requires two dozen officers and nine cars. >> and if there is an officer down, we're going to react to the threat, as we just talked about. we actually have one of our close cover officers, plain-clothes officers, who was watching the incident, be approached by two guys and he tried to rob them at gun point.
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a gun fight ensued. we've had a male officer just recently shot at by a female prostitute. so, you name it, it's happened. >> it's just after 5:00 p.m. when the task force hits the streets. >> we're just going to run up and down a few blocks to see what's out there. >> and it doesn't take long for saleda to spot the night's first mark. >> there's one. she's a regular. >> it's going to be a female, white. she's sitting at the bus stop. i watched her get out of a car. she's standing on the corner quite a bit. >> saleda pulls into position to watch the undercover officer make his approach. >> okay. he's pulling up. >> after a brief exchange, the subject takes the bait. >> she's getting in. mark, he's going to go eastbound. >> inside the car, a deal is struck, and the undercover taps his brake lights. >> looks like he already gave the swoop signal. >> signaling the arrest team to swoop down and make the bust. >> that's it right there.
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>> as the police close in, the subject makes a half-hearted attempt to flee. >> she's getting out of the car. she's getting out of the car walking southbound. that's her. >> down for one second. >> the woman is easily arrested and she's done for the night. but the task force is just getting started. >> she's running up to meet him in the alley. >> moments later, just a few blocks away, they nab another one. it's business as usual on the streets of oakland. >> female black, looks like pink shirt, white shorts. we got her last time. >> then the officers find something that really captures their attention. >> hey, those girls are really young. >> three girls who appear to be juveniles out on a stroll. >> all right. pulling up alongside of them. still rolling, though. >> the undercover officer attempts to solicit the girls but they don't respond. >> and they're walking away. >> there wasn't no play. they're just scared right now.
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>> for now, the task force must move on. there are plenty of players to round up. >> she's standing on the south corner right now. try and set up on her. >> including this woman and her pimp. >> just so you guys know, i think her pimp is right behind me parked on 8th in a silver buick. he's honking at her and calling on her cell phone right now. >> all right. go on and take him. >> as the arrests mount, word of the police presence begins to spread quickly on the street. that's when officers witness the three girls they believe to be juveniles warning other girls that the heat is on. and that's all they need to arrest them for interfering with the operation. back at the station, the girls are booked, and the officers' hunch about their age sadly confirmed. they are just kids caught up in a very dangerous game on the streets of oakland. chances are, the girls arrested tonight will be back out on the streets tomorrow, and in many cases, not because they want to,
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but because they're too scared to defy their pimps. >> we don't want to do this. we are forced to do this. it's the fear they put in you. the pimp, he puts fear in you. >> how much for two of us? why do i cook for the holidays? to share with family to carry on traditions to come together, even when we're apart in stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and more,
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hi, i'm richard lui with your hour's top stories. the government agreed to a police request to restrict air space around the ferguson protest for safety while privately acknowledging the real purpose was to keep away news helicopters. that information comes from faa recordings obtained by the "associated press." and thousands of people braved rain, snow and wind to pay their final respects to former boston mayor tom menino, who died thursday at age of 71. his funeral is monday. more news later. now back to msnbc "under cover."
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it's just minutes before sunset in downtown oakland and officer jim saleda is on the prowl. >> there you go. she's a young girl, too. hey, i've got this one girl coming southbound on 17. she's already flagged me, and she's going to walk up to my car. >> all right, go ahead and ask her and then we'll have somebody in come in and make the arrest. >> his target, young, underage girls some as young as 12 who have been trafficked and turned out to service everyday johns looking for cheap sex. >> are you dating, young lady? >> but saleda is actually an undercover investigator for oakland's human trafficking task force, and this young woman is about to make her last proposition of the night. >> how much for two of us? [ inaudible ]
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>> just a quick head. >> oh, that's going to be a hundred. >> i don't know -- all right. where should i meet you? all right. walk over there. i'll meet you. >> moments later, officer saleda tells officers to grab the young woman for soliciting prostitution. >> in the old days, it was a sweep. you just swept these girls off the street, you didn't give a damn. you just threw them in jail and you weren't attacking the problem. you weren't solving the problem. the girls would keep coming back out and keep doing it. by attacking the pimps and making them pay, they don't victimize other girls when we get them, and if the girls get any services, we can save one or two, then we've done our jobs. >> it's modern-day slavery. it truly is. >> four nights a week, sting or no sting operation, oakland pd's debbie hoffman works the street as part of opd's see care unit. she is the human equivalent of a lifeline trying to reach the unreachable. >> human trafficking is happening right here in our own
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backyards. it's happening from county to county and from state to state. this is my cell phone number. okay. i want you to call me when you get out, okay? even if you don't want to get into a program. just let me know you're okay. okay? >> hoffman tries to make an emotional connection with the young girls in an attempt to wrest them from the iron grip of their pimps. >> they'll probably make around maybe $1,000 a night off of one girl. and if he has six girls, that's about $6,000 in one night. >> hoffman says many of the 13 and 14-year-olds she sees are american girls trafficked from normal homes. >> the youngest girl i ever saw out on the street was 10 years old. and i'll never forget her. i mean, she was wearing a white jacket, which was filthy dirty. she was, i'd say, i know she was well under 5 feet tall. she wasn't developed. and she was with a mentor who
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was probably 13 years old. 13 or 14, if i remember. and we were shocked. is it cool to talk to this teen now? >> sure. >> hi, honey. >> oakland pd knows that moments like these where they can isolate the girls from their captors are the only window of opportunity to try to offer young women help and services. >> i mean, some of the stories i've heard are just horrendous. >> for hoffman, every story is a heartbreaker, whether it's the 10-year-old sent out to work the streets for her mother or the 14-year-old runaway who ran into the arms of a man she thought would love and protect her, only to discover a life of daily beatings and sexual abuse. >> we have recognized these ladies as truly being victims. and so, we're trying to educate them and give them, let them know that they can have the power, not to give their power away to somebody else that's going to hurt them and their family. >> i don't know any pimp that does not roll with at least a
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gun. >> 19-year-old brittany survived four years of terror working the streets for a pimp. >> most of them roll with two guns, one in the seat and one always strapped on him. and best believe they are loaded. >> at 15, the man she thought was her boyfriend tortured and beat her into working 15-hour days servicing johns, both from the internet and on the street for thousands of dollars in cash. >> pimps never let you leave their sight. you're always on lockdown. they're always there watching you. and if they're not watching you, their friends are watching you. you can never escape. >> but six months ago, when she was arrested in an oakland sting operation like this one, she received a card with debbie's phone number. she says it saved her life. >> we don't want to do this. we are made to do this. we are forced to do this. and when someone's life is threatened and constantly every
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day saying, if you don't get on the track, i'm going to kill you, i'm going to stab you. i have my boys watching you. you can't do anything. you're scared. >> the odds of pulling a girl off the street are small, but hoffman and the men of the oakland task force are undaunted. saleda says it's a race against the clock. the earlier they can pull a girl off the street, the more likely it is that she won't fall prey again to the anxious men who only see children in the terms of dollars and cents. >> they're total property. it's truly modern-day slavery. >> with thousands of dollars at stake, pimps keep a watchful eye over the girls they traffic. >> the pimp does not come up for her rescue. he just wants to make sure that he knows how much money she's making. >> girls who are caught in sting operations often feel they are unfairly targeted. >> arrest the pimp and leave us
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alone. >> they do. they do. okay, what's your pimp's name? >> i don't know. >> see, that's why they don't get arrested, because all of a sudden, the girls get real stupid. >> after arresting this 17-year-old who offered an undercover officer intercourse for $60, hoffman tried to urge the teen to let her get her treatment. >> i'm going to call in an advocate. do you know what an advocate is? she has a program that will help you with school or, you know, just talk you to about your family life or lack of family life or -- do you -- you don't live at home, i take it, right? you don't have a home? >> hoffman is concerned about the 17-year-old, who explains away a large contusion on her head. >> did somebody hit you? you fell down the stairs? when did that happen? hey, nola, this is debbie with see care. and we just had our first
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juvenile brought in. she says she fell down some stairs, but i believe she probably was hit by her pimp. >> it may take weeks, months, or years before young women muster the courage to run, but when they do, hoffman is there. >> if they need to get away quick, that there is a place for them to go. >> he started choking me and saying that he hated prostitutes. the way he got off was to kill them slowly. tomcat presents dead mouse theatre. hey, ulfrik! hey, agnar! what's up with you? funny you ask. i'm actually here to pillage your town. [ villagers screaming ] but we went to summer camp together. summer camp is over. ♪ [ male announcer ] tomcat. [ cat meows ] [ male announcer ] engineered to kill. [ male announcer ] tomcat. [ cat meows ] they take us to worlds full of heroes and titans. for respawn, building the best interactive entertainment
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so they'll stop and buy a prostitute. and then when they're done, they just go to work. so, a lot of them tell the guys at work, hey, guess what i did on the way to work kind of thing, so it spreads, you know, word of mouth. >> five nights a week as the light of day fades debbie hoffman of oakland pd's see care unit heads out to the track. >> let's just go talk to him, you know. >> she's on a mission to seek and find the forgotten girls who sacrifice their health and welfare to pleasure johns for the brutal men who control them. >> hey, honey? can i talk to you for a sec? >> it may take months or years but for a decade hoffman's been there trying to save one life at a time by simply letting them know she cares. >> okay, hon. take care. >> hoffman says parents who believe it will never happen to their daughters should listen closely to the story of 19-year-old britney. >> on every corner you go to you will see a pimp. pimps will drive down the street in vans, jump out, and snatch
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girls up and throw them in the car. they'll take you to locations hours from oakland and make you work. >> britney grew up in an affluent suburb of san jose with a mother, a father, a house, and a boat. her nightmare started when she was just 15. she agreed to meet a guy she met online at a party. >> i remember he said, you're going to bust tricks for me. i said, well, what is a trick? and he said, i'm going to post you on the internet and these men are going to call you. i'm going to set these appointments up. you're going to [ bleep ] them, get the money, and give it to me. i said, no. that's the first night i got my ass beat. i almost died that night. >> for four years, britney was an internet sex slave, prostituted by three different men, but it was her first pimp who broke her spirit with a beating so savage, she never considered running.
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>> he was the worst. he beat me almost every day. i remember one incident i was driving in a car with him. i was going to an out call. when you're in a car with a pimp you're not supposed to look to your right. you're not supposed to look to your left. you're just supposed to look straight forward. and i remember i looked to the right, and all of a sudden, before i could even look back, this fist was in my face, and we were going back and forth on the freeway, and he was trying to choke me. and i thought i was going to die. he dragged me out of the car on the freeway and started hitting me and hitting me. he went in the trunk and grabbed a bat and just started hitting me, nonstop. >> whether it was giving someone oral sex in an alley or being tortured and sodomized by a john in a local hotel room, britney says she was starved and sleep-deprived, and the men who controlled her had one priority. >> during that time, it's money, money, money, money, money, money, money. and there needs to be at least
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$100 to $200 being dropped off every hour of the day. to him or there are consequences. >> like most enslaved young girls, britney gave all the cash to her pimp. >> i would make about over $4,000 to $6,000 a day. >> after two years of brutality, britney says she summoned up the courage to run after she found herself on an out call trapped in an apartment with a sociopath who planned to kill her. >> i remember i walked into his house, and right off the bat, i knew something was funny, because he had, like, ten locks, bolt locks on his door. and i walked in and he started bolting all the locks. and i remember thinking, oh, my god, i'm going to die. >> so she snuck into the bathroom to call her pimp, begging for help. he ordered her not to leave without being paid. then when she came out of the bathroom, the john attacked her.
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>> he started choking me and saying he hated prostitutes and he didn't care about them and that the way he got off was to kill them slowly while he raped them. i just remember laying there and just taking it, blow after blow. >> desperate, britney says she told her attacker that she had hiv and needed to get condoms from the car. when they reached the front door of the complex, she ran for her life. >> when i left that night, i didn't have money. and when i went back to my pimp, he beat me so hard. to this day, i can't hear in my left ear because he beat me so bad with a pistol. i had many friends on the track that disappeared over time. you would hear later on the news
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that a trick killed her. >> experts say that britney is just one of 300,000 underage girls and boys exploited every year. they say the only way to impact the growing commodification of child rape is to crack down on the buyers, the men who buy kids for sex. >> we have to stop blaming the wrong people, and that's the children, and start blaming the right people. and that's really the people that are putting the money out, because pimps -- pimps, they don't bring the girls to a place where nobody's spending money. okay, good afternoon. >> norma runs sage, a nonprofit organization that operates a school for men who have been arrested for soliciting prostitution in san francisco. her goal, re-educate men to understand that buying sex from exploited women is an unspeakable crime.
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>> who decides who the good girl is or who the bad girl is? who decides that? these are children! these are children. and they deserve protection. we are letting them be brutalized. >> nazi glorifying memorabilia are not auctioned off on sites like ebay anymore. why, then, should we have human beings auctioned off as entertainment? ♪
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it's advertised as a world of fantasy, created to serve buyers in every major american city. sexy, so-called barely legal girls, illegally bought and sold with a click of a mouse. >> the internet is one large, global brothel where women are trafficked. >> experts like researcher
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melissa farley say that the internet has fueled an explosion of the selling of women and teens. >> it increases the vulnerability and accessibility of women for sale, and at the same time, it increases the anonymity and privacy of the john. >> websites empower anyone with a laptop to market girls under their control and provide men with a risk-free place to buy them. prior to september 2010, craigslist's adult services site was one of the most popular destinations for those seeking elicit sex or looking to sell it. >> until recently, craigslist included an adults services category. it was created in 2001 at the request of craigslist users tired of seeing adult services ads mixed into the personals categories. they wanted a separate category. >> but with rising legal pressure from state attorneys and a congressional hearing on
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september 8th, 2010, craigslist agreed to shut down their adult services site, but the company gave no reason why and refused any comment when nbc inquired about it. >> in conclusion, i'd like to reiterate two items that may be helpful to the committee. first, craigslist discontinued its adult services section on september 3rd, 2010, and there are no plans to reinstate the category. those who formerly posted ads in the adult services category will now have to advertise elsewhere. and secondly, craigslist has always taken pride in assisting law enforcement, and we will continue to do so in the future. >> but while craigslist has discontinued their adult services sites in the u.s., there remain many other websites where users can buy sex, with thousands of new postings each and every day. >> these are advertisements for prostitution placed by pimps. >> using coy code words like roses or diamonds, these ads show men just what they're
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buying. >> to me, this is a craigslist operation. >> with help from a federal human trafficking grant, the oakland pd along with the fbi conducts internet sting operations. >> oakland police. open the door so we don't have to use the key. >> on this night, after officers spotted a pimp with two suspected minors, they entered a hotel room and find a pregnant 17-year-old selling herself and the minors on the internet. >> can you step away from that? >> you're logging on to your craigslist account. >> during questioning, the pregnant teen admits to posting internet ads for they are pimp, while the other minors walked the track for cash. >> were they supposed to work tonight? >> they were spoested to post ads on the internet. >> though she's been beaten and hospitalized multiple times, the girl who has been sold online since she was 15 says it's tough to escape. farley says the internet makes exploiting teens easy money. buyers can find exactly what
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they're looking for without ever leaving the comfort of home. for seasoned consumers of girls, there is on its website, men can rate women in painstaking detail and share extensive performance reviews to inform other potential buyers. >> she couldn't take a light spanking, and she complained about me pulling her hair. she told me i was rough, and she kept pushing me back. now, most of us would look at that and say, this is somebody who's being coerced. >> declined our request for an interview, but responded in an e-mail, stating their website is "an adult-oriented social network and community" and they're simply a medium, like a phone company, through which messages are dispatched. federal law protects websites from content posted by users, but farley says that hiding behind the first amendment is wrong. >> nazi glorifying memorabilia
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are not auctioned off on sites like ebay anymore. why, then, should we have human beings auctioned off as entertainment? >> many believe the only real way to impact what amounts to modern-day slavery is to crack down on the buyers. the oakland police department runs sting operations to bust johns by sending female officers under cover. >> and i'll be on task force special assignment. >> on this night, four squad cars and 12 officers watch and wait for suspected johns. the decoys have barely hit the corner, and already, johns are taking the bait. >> i've got a yellow mustang. >> he's starting up and getting ready to head northbound. >> one after another, the men pull up, trying to attract the girl's attention. >> he's done. >> this john gets tired of waiting in his car and decides to approach the decoy on foot. >> listen up, we've got a
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walk-up. >> the john leaves, thinking he's about to meet the girl around the corner. instead, he finds uniformed officers. >> he's not happy. it's still viewed as a minor crime, but if it wasn't for guys like this coming and victimizing these little girls, you know, and making the money for the pimps, these girls -- the girls wouldn't be getting victimized. >> as the operation draws into nightfall, johns and pimps looking to recruit the decoys circle in greater and greater numbers, and it gets more difficult for officers to follow the action. then saleda notices something that doesn't seem right. the van has nevada plates, and saleda immediately suspects it's a pimp from out of town looking for new girls, and he may attempt to kidnap the undercover police women. a man exits the van and walks towards the decoys. >> the second pimp's getting out of the van now. >> be advised, there's two guys on foot that got out of that van. one of them's kind of lurking up
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the block towards marin. >> then, the unexpected. [ shots ] [ bleep ] >> an unknown shooter, perhaps a rival pimp, flees down a side street. >> he's on marin, turning southbound towards east 14th. >> no one is injured, and the opd loses the suspect. >> we lost him at 16th and east 14th. >> fearing for the safety of the undercover cops on the street, the police call off the operation for the night. the task force wants the men who buy and sell underaged girls to know that they are watching and waiting to make a bust. >> no demand, no product. hammer these guys, and we do. we're actually putting these guys away for a long period of time. it may help, but it's mainstream.
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on the streets of detroit, someone is hunting and killing young women two at a time. >> we have four homicides, of which a serial pattern is developing. >> the first set of women were found on december 19th, dead in the trunk of a car on promenade street. >> oh, it was extremely brutal. >> i'm just tired of us losing our children. >> lurking in the online ads for sex. >> is this kim? >> and luring the unsuspecting to a rendezvous with death. >> hey, how are you doing? >> while pimps and hustlers sell young women on a promise of protection. >> let me holler at you for a minute. >> somebody that's involved in this business should be able to


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