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tv   Sex Slaves  MSNBC  August 5, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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at least for reporters. i'm not sure if i want this thing to succeed or not. maybe it will save the industry, i can't tell. hopefully the "washington post" is working on a robot that can update my resume. now it's time for "hard ball" with chris matthews. have a great weekend. on the streets of chicago and across america, the business of sex for sale is booming, fuelled by the internet. >> this is not a problem that just happens in another country. >> we have had girls from texas, minnesota, iowa. >> what am i going to be on the rub for? >> prostitution. >> in a world where girl and young women take all of the risks, pimps and traffickers keep all the cash. >> it's not physical. it's mental bondage. this is what traffickers and pimps and predators do. >> tonight, msnbc goes undercover with the cook county human trafficking task force as
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they battle the buyer and sellers of sex and reach out to rescue the young and lost trapped in chicago's underground sex trade. beyond the glass and steel lies the city at the cross roads of america's underground sex trade. >> relax, okay, sweetie. >> okay. >> don't be nervous or anything. >> tonight, police find this young woman selling sex in a hotel room more than 600 miles away from her home in arkansas. local authorities say it's an all-too-common occurrence here
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in the windy city. >> it happens in our own backyard. chicago is a transportation hub, convention hub and ripe for this crime. >> reporter: illinois state attorney anita alverez heads up the cook county trafficking task force, a joint effort by police and prosecutors to combat the booming underground sex trade in chicago and the surrounding suburbs. >> do your parents know where i you are? >> i think we are not going to get anywhere or make a dent in to this crime unless we, as local prosecutors, do more. >> in 2011, she illinois safe child act became law in the land. giving police and prosecutors a new set of tools to identify and rescue trafficking victims, provide them with social services and punish the pimps who exploit them. >> i'd like people to think about that this could be their daughter. part of his job includes
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changing perception about the girls and young women who work the streets of chicago. >> every one of these girls at one point was someone's child. at one point was held in someone's arms and felt this child would be something. that child thought they might be something, these are real humans no different than our children and the reason they are doing what they are doing now has a long history and ugly history and people need to understand that. >> you okay now? >> the task force in cook county is one of the more aggressive local law enforcement efforts aimed at rescuing trafficked women and arresting the traffickers and johns that exploit them. >> what's going on with the hotels? >> mike takes the lead on today's investigation. >> what we are doing we are doing reverse prostitution stings. our goal is to find the girls that are trafficked and pimped out on the internet.
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we're going to answer ads and the girls will come to us. don has a couple of dates. he has one date set up. we will be doing an operation where we go to them. we will have two teams going out. we will also post ads of our own and have some men answer the ads to come to the hotel. in once we arrest the girls. >> reporter: today's operation is comprehensive, attacking the supply and demand side of the sex-for-sale equation kwags / e back page is making millions of dollars and they have acknowledged what's going on and they are not going to stop it because they make so much money. >> reporter: the cook county task force includes crisis counselors like brenda powell, a former prostitute that now works the other side of the street, reaching 0 out and offering guidance to girls and women
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trapped in the life. >> in the 25 years of prostitution i have been shot, stabbed over 13 times and kidnapped, held against my will. every time you go out there and someone holds a gun to your head your chances become less. i understand where they are coming from and who they are. who better to send in to talk to them than someone who's been through it. that's what i do. >> reporter: a little after 1:00 p.m. where a task force sets up near o'hare airport. it is a well-known hot spot for the business of sex for sale in cook county. male under covers make contact with women selling sex on >> i am looking at your ad on
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back page and hoping you were available. would you be able to come to me? >> at a room across the hall, female under covers post fake ads for sex on baij back page and lure johns to the hotel. >> are you going to come and visit me. what time are you looking at? okay. i charge $90 for full service for one hour. is that okay with you? >> he is calling for a date tonight an wants to know if i do greek which is common term for anal sex. >> i'm in the o'hare area. >> okay. i can't wait to see you. >> female undercovers make contact with an eager john. >> right now. he will be here in two minutes. >> a male undercover in the room across the hall has a subject on the way. >> you are not the police, right? that's why i want to give you my number. i don't want a bunch of dudes kickin' in my door. >> reporter: the team scrambles to prepare for two simultaneous takedowns.
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>> you guys good? >> yeah. >> it is always feast or famine. we will have nothing, put the phone calls an ads on and then five people show up in a half hour. it is critical when we take him down we bring him out immediately. >> arresting officers hud until the next room, eyeballing his approach in the hallway and waiting for a hit on the panic pager to signal the deal for sex has been made. ♪ >> get your hands out of your pocket. you are arrest. the john is hustled in to a processing room. while officers reset the trap for a call girl who's only moments away. [ beeping ] >> hey. how are you doing, buddy? police. >> phone real quick.
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all right. we're the police. okay. just so you know. you are under arrest. >> okay. >> the team has two in the bag and the operation has only just begun. >> i don't think we should get in trouble for this at a all. >> it's what they want to do. op in high school, learned the horn from my dad and played gigs from new york to miami. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor and he prescribed lyrica. nerve damage from diabetes causes diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is fda approved to treat this pain, from moderate to even severe diabetic nerve pain. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior.
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investigators are conducting undercover prostitution stings in a hotel near o'hare airport. >> get them out of here. >> the team quickly make two arrests that illustrate both sides of the sex for sale equation.
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a call girl is arrested moments later. >> police. detectives want to know more about the young woman's situation to see if she's in physical danger or in need of social services. but first, they must dispense with the john. a married man on his way home from work. the john seems to be on the virge of tears. he tells the police this is the first time he bought sex. he has one concern. keeping his wife in the dark about his so-called "experiment." >> they got a lot to lose. most of them are married. most of them have children.
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they're doing this and they all say this is the first time but there's no way 'tis first time because most people don't get caught the first time doing something wrong and they're all apologetic and they're sorry they got caught. in cook county, the law gives them a choice -- fight the case in court or pay a steep fine and have the arrest wiped from their record. >> freedom here. we can talk about it. >> we have the ability to write tickets to these guys and it will cost them $500 cash and it's another, so it ends up being about $1170. the money we get from the fine goes to the women justice program and these guys, right away, almost all of them pay within 24 hours, cash. >> in keeping with the county's request for discretion, we have agreed to obscure the identities of the johns arrested today. >> it is what it is. >> i've had some discussions with some of the men that we've brought into custody.
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it's abundantly clear to me that -- if they're going to continue to do this and i have no way what they're going to do, they certainly aren't coming around our area anymore. we do it so often that a lot of people are thinking twice about what they're doing. it's not worth the down side having their entire life thrown out there. >> in the two years since cook county police started slapping fines on jones, they have generated more than $100,000 for the women's justice program and have yet to encounter a repeat offender. the detectives turn their attention to the woman in custody, we'll calm they are jenny. >> what kind of tattoo? >> snake right here. >> a resident of minnesota, jenny tells police she's been in chicago for about a month. >> how did you get here? >> a friend dropped me off. >> police suspect jenny maybe trafficked but she is reluctant to open up about her situation. >> how many dates did you have today? how many you got planned to do? >> none.
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>> i'm not trying to trick you into saying anything. it has nothing to do with why we have you here. we're trying to ascertain right now if you need any help. simple, right? >> slowly but surely, commander anton begins to break the ice. >> you got kids? >> one. >> learning the woman has left a 3-year-old son behind in minnesota. and that she travels a lot. >> just -- i've been everywhere. vegas, chicago -- detroit -- texas. >> details that deepen his suspicion that she's being trafficked. >> i'm 27. i like to live life. >> yeah, but in order to live a life you have to have a job. people have a misconception. if you are not coming from out of the country -- china, thailand, or somewhere else you are not a victim of trafficking. if you use threat or coersion you're being trafficked. >> when's the last time you saw your son? >> -- since he was -- >> how long ago was that?
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>> the manipulation is so great a lot of these pimps won't be in the state. we have girls that come from texas, minnesota, iowa -- and they won't even be in the state. >> are you supposed to get mad? >> which leads you to believe, how can you be that manipulated but the girls might have something hanging over their head. a lot of these pimps get the girls pregnant and they have the baby and the baby is with the pimp's people or his parents so now you can't get out because you're worried about the baby and they use that as coersion. >> you're going to have to talk to someone right now. not going to be law enforcement, someone that helps people that are in situations like yourself. right? >> with over 20,000 women being sold for sex across chicagoland, sheriff tom dart realizes arrests and jail time did nothing to stem the revolving door of women flooding the system. >> a police officer would arrest someone for prostitution and they would be back on the street before the police officer filled out the paperwork. literally, by the time you were
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done, they had bonded out and they didn't just go home for the night they would go back out to the street. >> my name is brenda and your name is -- >> in 2008 one sheriff dart starting hiring counselors like brenda powell to connect women with social services and help them get out of the life. >> the hardest thing for women involved in is to see they are victims. they don't look at themselves as victims. okay? >> you know how to pimp? >> no. >> brenda is not just a counselor, she's a former prostitute with 25 years in the game. and even though jenny admits nothing brenda can tell she's being pimped out. >> the girlfriend, husband and kids so you're staying with your girlfriend, her husband and kids, right? >> and the girlfriend and the girlfriend's kids and the girlfriend's man, he know, that's not a normal relationship. that's how i used to live with my pimp and my wife-in-laws. we all lived with him and we would do anything for him. >> you can benefit from kicking it with me.
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>> in the jargon of the underground sex trade, wife-in-laws are the women working in a pimp stable. the pimp is the daddy and the whole group including children, is called the family. >> but i know how the game go because i was in the game for 25 years. i know that it ain't easy to get out from under this game. a huge rule is not to snitch or talk about what goes on in that family. any systems that come at her trying to damage that family system, is an enemy. i can offer you all kinds of services to help you get a job. >> for now, brenda can see that jenny is not ready to accept the help the women's justice program can offer but brenda has opened a lifeline tonight and she will be there for jenny if and when jenny is ready to change her life. >> give me a hug. thank you. >> thank you. >> but one thing i leave them with, i don't care what happens tonight. later on, give me a call.
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she's ready to go back. i can stand here with her. just let me know you're okay. and i do get calls from all over the country and they'll say, hey, you remember me? you talked to me at that place? i know it's late. but you got a minute? and i have to take a minute to listen to her because that's something that no one is doing. no one is listening but i do. i will listen. >> do your parent know where you are? >> no but they know what i do. i've been on my own since i was like 17. n, n, in reality they're not. if a denture were to be put under a microscope, we can see all the bacteria that still exists on the denture, and that bacteria multiplies very rapidly. that's why dentists recommend cleaning with polident everyday. polident's unique micro clean formula works in just 3 minutes, killing 99.99% of odor causing bacteria. for a cleaner, fresher,
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it's just after 2:00 p.m. in chicago and if the mercury rises outside to 98, action inside heats up for cook county investigators. >> hi, alexis. how are you doing? >> the unit prepares to move in on a young woman advertising herself as an out of town special. >> hoping you were available for a date this morning. >> uc veteran dan plays the decoy and secures a date. >> okay.
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no problem. i'm going to head that way. i'm probably 15, 20 minutes from there. okay? >> the out of town target, a self-proclaimed sicilian la and the know hottie whose back page ad promises pleasure and delight for the night for $160 an hour. 9 working as backup, officer bob follows decoy dan to an undisclosed location. >> all right. i'm going to follow you. >> detective bob explains this in-call operation is a complicated game of cat and mouse. the seller of sex is in charge. >> they tell you a general vicinity they want you to go. you get to that spot or that intersection and then you have to recontact them an they will give you the hotel or motel they are at. >> call girls like alexis don't give up their precise location for two reasons. one it ensures the john is close
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and ready to make the deal and gives pimps or women time to check them out. >> room 327. she is launching out the window. she saw me pull in. 327. >> dan signals a deal for sex has been made. alexis offered oral sex and intercourse in exchange for $250. >> danny. we're coming in. >> officers quickly i.d. alexis as 21-year-old chanel velasquez from california. >> you were on back page, right? you posted yourself? >> yes, sir. >> internet back page makes it possible for this college student to sell herself 2,000 miles from home. >> you are under arrest for prostitution. cool and cooperative she claims to operate alone.
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>> posting on that computer or on my best friend's iphone. >> a quick search of the internet reveals thanks to back page, asex sis has logged a lot of miles. she commutes from california to chicago because there's a higher demand for latino women in the windy city. >> how did you get this money? >> some i already had and some -- >> we're going to count it, all right? 200, three, $408. >> sheriff dart says back page knows all too well their site is used by pimps and traffickers, not just people looking for massages. >> we have arrested upwards of 500 people. they have all been in response to massages an the like. guess what, every single one of them had been prostitutes. now, come on.
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i couldn't conceivably be that lucky that i get all of the prostitutes and keep missing masseuses. it's not conceivable. >> before officers transport chanel to lockup, they tell her to prepare for what will be a long day in jail. it is clear she knows the drill. this is her third arrest in two years. >> we're all set. >> while cuffed she wonders if other women selling sex in the hotel will be arrested. >> do you know who they are. >> i don't know them. just a guy said there was a girl upstairs they are older women with, i guess. >> we eel check it out. do your parents know where you are? >> they don't know where i am at but know what i do, though. i have been on my own since i was 17. >> during her walk of shame across the hotel parking lot, chanel plays the cool customer. on the ride to lock up, she begins to tell police an all-too-familiar story.
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struggling to make ends meet on minimum wage she was lured in to prostitution by a smooth-talking romeo pimp. >> he lied, though. he sold me a dream and told me he would make sure i have everything i need. >> that's how they get you. >> yeah, i know. >> they promise you everything and reality you get nothing. >> i end up making, 20, 30 thousand dollars for him. >> chanel says after beaten badly by her pimp in los angeles she ran and has been on her own over a year. >> a lot of times the girls start working and a pimp will approach them on the street. in her case she is claiming she never worked before. >> reporter: dan finds chanel's story especially tragic. >> if a girl choess to work and she's out there working she eventually gets picked up by a pimp that's terrible but the girls never worked before and start because they are recruited those are the worst ones hear. >> while dan heads out to play
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decoy, chanel will lose her call girl pool and get a much-needed reality check. >> have a seat for a minute. come here, come here. it's okay, baby. how many months pregnant are you? >> i'm due next week. >> she's due next week. polo! marco...! sì? polo! marco...! polo! scusa? ma io sono marco polo, ma... marco...! playing "marco polo" with marco polo? surprising. ragazzini, io sono marco polo. sì, sono qui... what's not surprising? how much money amanda and keith saved by switching to geico. ahhh... polo. marco...! polo! fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. polo! try cool mint zantac. hey, need fast heartburn relief? it releases a cooling sensation in your mouth and throat. zantac works in as little as 30 minutes. nexium can take 24 hours. try cool mint zantac.
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>> every day in america, tens of thousands of people go on-line looking to buy and sell sex. >> are you calling for a date? >> sometimes the voice on the other end of the line is an undercover cop. >> investigators with the cook county human trafficking task force are en route to a location where an undercover officer has arranged a date for sex with a woman doing in calls from her hotel room. >> once the officer is in the room with the girl, they will make the deal. we will go to the room. they will let us n. then we will arrest the girl for prostitution. >> police say this particular motel, about a mile from the airport, is frequently used as a rendezvous for buyers an sellers of sex. >> okay. we just got a text now he is
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going to room 307. we'll give him a couple of minutes to get up there. >> inside of room 307, the undercover has just made a deal for sex in exchange for $200. sgluf no identification, right? >> the young woman has no identification, but tells detectives she's been arrested for prostitution before. she tells our producer she doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. >> i don't think we should get in trouble for this at all. if my boyfriend gives me money and buys me stuff, but a stranger can't do that. same thing to me. that's it. >> even when you arrest the girls, a lot of times they are so well trained, especially the young ones, talk about it is my boyfriend, the pimp or there's no force involved. when you peel back the layers you find abuse. you find the person is a victim of trafficking. >> reporter: detectives are finishing up at he motel when they notice a curious couple around room 307 and watching
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with them work. police suspect the pair maybe connected to the girl in custody, so they decide to introduce themselves. >> have a seat for a minute. >> come here. >> the woman has no identification but tells police she is 21 and lives in a neighboring state of wisconsin. police learn she is nine months pregnant and has a prior arrest for prostitution. >> how many months pregnant are you? >> due next week. >> she's due next week. >> okay. >> the couple denies wrongdoing today an police are unable to connect them to the earlier arrest in room 307. once the male is identified he's free to go but police can't release the young woman until she is identified. >> is that your boyfriend? >> yeah. >> friend of mine. i'm not in a room. >> the woman jenna is uncooperative buff was arrested for prostitution a month ago. the manager said she's been in the hotel for 23 days. >> what room is she staying in? 208.
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>> i don't have a key. >> not my room. >> there's no proof that jenna is selling sex today, but police say there's actually a high dollar demand for sex with pregnant women. >> she'll get that. that's what they are in to. i don't see it but, eh. >> what are you arrested for? >> the woman is identified by the record of her previous arrest for prostitution. >> i will meet you back over there. and you are pregnant, so don't do anything you are not supposed to do. >> police offer her the chance to speak to a crisis counselor from the women's justice program but she declined and she's free to go. >> okay. so what time are you looking at? >> back at the hotel, it's a little after 4:00 p.m. when business begins to pick up. >> guys getting off work now. they are looking for maybe
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something to do before they go home. you know, we can go from there. >> female undercovers have an unsuspecting john on the line. >> he's in the parking lot. >> now all they have to do is reel him in. >> hands behind your back. put your hands behind your back. >> inside the room, police find a big bear of a man with alcohol on his breath. detectives say he was hoping to party with all three women. but now the party is over. >> if you haven't noticed, we are running a prostitution sting right now. >> a resident of indiana, the man tells police he's in town on business. detectives say they see his kind all the time. >> businessmen, doctors, lawyers, you know career guys. >> we have looked at the demographics, it's across the board. >> we have guy coming.
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>> economics doesn't make a difference, race doesn't make a difference. >> police, you are under arrest. age doesn't make a difference. from 18 to i think 74 years old. we arrested one guy last year 74 years 0 old, looking for sex from our under cover girl. he got out of the hospital two weeks ago on bypass surgery and out looking for a girl. >> the officer will take care of you and else you what will happen. >> sex sales. men think of it all the time. it is a matter of what they are willing 0 to do to obtain it and the risk they are willing to take. >> most of them are married, families, all of them have job and they come and just want to have a good time with one private and dissecrete and nobody will know about it. >> police say most johns don't think too deeply about the consequences of buying sex until they get caught.
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>> police. let me see your hands. >> they are looking for one thing. the guy is looking for sex, they don't see the ramifications of paying someone and they don't see the outcome of a trafficked victim. i don't think they want to look at that. >> you want to walk with me? >> sure. >> if they realize what is going on in this girl's life, the background and physical and emotional abuse from the pimp they would have a different understanding 0 of what it is. >> while police may not be able to make johns feel the pain of women trapped in the underground sex trade, they can make them feel a pain deep in their own wallets. >> this is a nice wallet. is this leather? is this a leather wallet? it is nice. >> it became clear in certain areas of town people looking for prostitutes they better not go there because strong possibility it might be us. and if it is we have a menu of things we can and will do to you starting with really making you poor. >> this is the fine.
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this is if you don't want to pay the final okay. >> i think collectively we have driven down the demand in certain areas. all the local people tell us that. in addition to that we have people we are dragging in to fund the programs to try to help the women who have been victimized. >> the average prostitutes turns five to ten tricks a day. how much trauma is that to her? i have had girls who say it feels like someone is using the bathroom inside of me. where we explore. protecting biodiversity. everywhere we work. defeating malaria. improving energy efficiency. developing more clean burning natural gas. my job? my job at exxonmobil? turning algae into biofuels. reducing energy poverty in the developing world. making cars go further with less. fueling the global economy. and you thought we just made the gas. ♪
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[click] man: ♪ you're beautiful ♪ i'm coming back [clicking] ♪ back to you that's all i crave.e that's where this comes in. only nicorette gum has patented dual-coated technology for great taste. plus nicorette gum gives you intense craving relief. and that helps put my craving in its place. that's why i only choose nicorette. >> put your hands behind your back. >> clearly the party is over tonight for these men seeking sex for sale. across metro chicago, day or
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night, men continue to order girls to go with a simple click of the mouse. from anal sex to oral sex, to three on on one, investigators say women and under-aged girls are sold on websites like back page. >> their site exists so traffickers and pimps can have a place to sell women. >> i'm fed up and tired. this is going to stop. >> in 2009, cook county sheriff tom dart was part of the legal effort to shut down the erotic services section of craigslist. >> calling to see if you had anything available for today. >> reporter: his troops are taking aim at back page which he says makes millions off of the misery of others. >> if we had a website where people put on hits against their spouses, the website will say we're not putting hits on spouses. we just set up the website with. the fact these people are doing it -- and then we are telling
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law enforcement, the problem is by the time we get there the people are dead already. we'd rather you take the website down. come on. >> the cook county task force wants americans to know that on-line websites keep trafficked women ensnared in a cycle 0 perpetual violence. >> choke hold. >> while most may view young women as tough individuals making bad choices, brenda meyers powell sees these women as the walk waing wounded. in desperate need of public empathy and intervention. >> i have had some girls say it feels like someone is using in the bathroom inside of me. will what age did you start to do this regularly? >> the average prostitute turns five, six, maybe ten tricks a day. if you calculate five times 365, how many men has she slept with? over 1800 men. how much trauma is that to her? i know about prostitution. i was a prostitute for 25 years
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an you have no idea what you are in for. >> brenda's own hard-life lessons learned on the streets of chicago make her the perfect lifeline for girls and young women in crisis. >> in the beginning of my prostitution as an upscale prostitute, escorts, strip clubs, only the best and at the end of the road i was turning the tricks on the street corner for $20. >> like many women who fall in to prostitution, brenda's own sexual experience began with rape as a child. >> being molested since i was 4, 5 years old, constantly happening in the household that i lived in, from my grandmother to my aunt's house. every time i thought i was safe, i was never safe. >> reporter: raised by an alcoholic grandmother in housing projects on chicago's west side, her first exposure to prostitution was right outside of her front door.
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>> me being 9 years old, living in a community where prostitutes worked in front of our window and looking ought the window at the prostitutes getting in and out of cars and having shiny dresses on and be very beautiful and asking my grandmother, what are those women doing and she told me. she told me those women take off their panties and give them money and me relating to because men had been taking my panties off and i said, wow, i didn't know they were supposed to give me money. >> her grandmother encouraged her to sell herself at 14 to add money to the family purse. >> i sat on the corner and that night i made over $400. those guys knew i was a minor. they knew i was young. they paid me more because i was young. >> after 25 years of surviving exploitation and violence, brenda was forced out of the
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life after a brutal attack by a john almost killed her. >> again, occurred with a customer who began to beat me up to take his money back after we got through and i tried to get out of the car to get away from him and he started the car up and was driving off and as i tried to get away from him, my clothes caught hold to the door and he drug me for six blocks and tore the skin off my body, my face. >> reporter: disfigured and near death, brenda was taken to cook county hospital. there, she says, she was pushed to the back of the line for treatment because she was a prostitute. >> i felt worthless and even people who took an oath to help people didn't want to help a prostitute. i wanted to die. >> now married with a family of her own, brenda said she is living proof that working girls like chanel can turn their lives around with help and support.
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>> chanel, you are a beautiful, special girl. >> thank you. >> i can look in her eyes. i can talk to her and i understand what she is feeling because i have been there. and the questions that come from me are not like the questions that come from the police. >> it takes just a few minutes for brenda to crack chanel's tough girl act. >> i don't remember what i was like before this. >> wow. >> i have no idea. i can't remember my personality or anything like that. >> wow. >> that's the worst part of it. i'll never be the same person. you know what i mean? i know how bad it is. i know some girls probably say i know some girls are on drugs and do it but after meeting so many girls i'm one of the smarter ones. i'm one of the smarter ones. this is ridiculous. >> today brenda devotes her time
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helping women make the same choice she did, to leave the life. >> give me 'hug. >> her goal, make a human connection and give women hope there is a real way out. >> give mae real hug. no fake hug. >> so that next time the women are thrown a lifeline they may take it. >> thank you for talking to me. >> if i take prostitution away from you, i have to offer you everything in place of that. when i say everything, i'm talking about a place to stay, food, clothing, all of your basic human needs have to be met. they need to feel safe. >> relax. don't be nervous or anything. okay. >> can i ask you, are you being trafficked or is the money going elsewhere or are you keeping the money? are you sure?
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as night falls in chicago, the day's stifling heat gives way to thunder and lightning at a cold, hard rain flushing the street. >> police. how are you doing? >> put your clothes on. >> today's investigation by the cook county human trafficking task force continues to uncover women from across america. >> what am i going to be under arrest for? >> prostitution. >> we had a girl from minnesota, a girl from wisconsin only one girl from chicago. it says a lot for the girls, they are not staying in one location. they are moving around. they have people behind moving them around. >> the team is about to pack it in when they get one last visit from a woman hoping to trade sex for cash. >> relax, okay, sweetie.
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don't get nervous or anything, okay. >> uh-huh. >> 23-year-old jessica is more than 600 miles away from her home in arkansas. >> is this all you had on? >> yes. >> this high school graduate tells police sh this is her first run in with the law. >> have you ever been arrested before? >> no. >> never for anything? >> no. >> how long have you been working. >> not that lock. >> how long have you been in chicago. >> three weeks. >> where are you staying. >> at a friend's house. >> among jessica's belongings, they find condoms, receipts for stays in high-end hotels and more than $500 in cash. they suspect she maybe trafficked, but she insists she's acting alone. >> can i ask are you trafficked or are you keeping the money? >> all mine. >> are you sure? >> yes. >> when asked about the plight of other women in the life, jessica says it is a simple matter of free will.
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>> it's what they want to do. nothing to say. >> the majority of those women were being controlled. they would never tell you that, but i hear things that a lot of times in interviews other people don't hear. >> come on in. have a seat. my name is brenda. >> while jessica is noncompliant, another young woman opens up to brenda, revealing she is in crisis. >> if anyone sees my face i could get killed. >> okay. because i don't know what's going on but i feel you, okay. >> the 22-year-old tells brenda she's been working for a pimp from new york who despite his distance controls her every move. >> the guy you are with now, how did you meet him? [ inaudible ] >> she was recruited by another woman in new york. her situation was bad any way
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already. >> when she met me i had $20 to my name. >> she said she knew what she was doing was not right but could not get out of it because she didn't have a pot to piss in if she didn't have mst prostitution. she had family. her family had given up on her a long time ago. >> i never have been able to ask anyone for help. i was not able to keep up the charade with my parents. pretending to be christian and straight and by the time i went to college everything fell apart. >> the daughter of missionaries, nan dropped out of college and hopped a plane to america hoping to find work with a modelling agency in new york. what she found instead turned out to be a trafficking operation. >> you flew out to canada, got your hair done, put you on a website.
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you have been prosty tutd out ever since. do you get my of the money. >> the woman was threatening her calling her every day saying we are watching you. you can't move. we have people that will come and get you. >> she's absolutely insane. i thought she was going to kill me [ inaudible ] >> that's the brain that they have that they use to have you brainwashed so you don't go, right? been there, done that. okay. >> after 25 years in the game, brenda knows all too well how hard it is for girls to walk away from their pimps. >> a lot of people think this is something they settle for that but these women are in survival mode. you don't have any peripheral vision. your tunnel vision tells you
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these people are right here and this is what i see and this is who i am and i can't get away. >> do you want to be with this pimp? it is not physical bondage. it is mental bondage. if someone can control your mind, they can control you. this is what traffickers and pemps and predators do. they control you mentally. >> i can get you somewhere very safe. you hear me? [ crying ] >> where you will be safe, where you will be protected, where no with one will bother you. listen, this is what i do for a living, okay. least for tonight, anna's traffickers have met their match in brenda powell. >> i cannot sleeve sleep tonight if i let you go back to there. you understand. >> her lessons ring loud in the woman's ears.
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>> i want you to be safe. >> at last, anna sees a genuine opportunity to get away from the pimp and agrees to take ref jew v fuj in a shelter for girls and young women struggling to escape prostitution. >> you let me do that give me a hug. you ain't going nowhere. sometimes i believe that things happen if for a reason and it is divine intervention. i feel that is what just happened now. >> brenda says there's no guarantee that today's intervention will turn anna's life around, but at least for tonight, anna will be safe and warm, securing shelter from the storm of the underground sex slave. >> we're trying to find that piece of them that's left, the best of them. so we can help them bring it out. because they are not a lost cause.
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in cities all across america, with a click of a mouse or a friendly wave from their car, men looking to buy sex for cash find easy pickings. >> turn off your engine. >> but it's buyer beware in san francisco. >> put your hands behind your back. >> as police crack down on the demand side, the johns who fuel the black market sale of young women and girls. >> you arrested me for no reason. >> can you stop the camera, dude? >> tonight, msnbc learns that for better or worse, most men who buy are married.


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