The extremely popular social media “Facebook,” has become a tool for Pimps seeking to acquire new “girls”.
It began with a “friend” request. “I was just, ‘oh, he’s cute, I’ll accept him,'” a 22-year-old called “Nina”, (a pseudonym), recalls.
Little did then 18-year-old “Nina” know that clicking “accept” would lead her on a road to prostitution for over four years and in several states.
In her senior year of high school, Nina’s mother was tried and convicted of “financial” crimes, and was sentenced to two years in prison. She began looking for male companionship. When one particular man told her online that he was falling for her, they began to talk of marriage, children, and taking trips across the country together.
“He sold me the biggest dream in the world,” she says. “I thought he really did like me and we were going to live this fairy-tale life together.”
They continued to correspond via “Facebook” for about a month. Then, in September, when her friends went off to college, she drove two and one-half hours from her home to meet her suitor.
Her dream was quickly crushed. Very soon after she arrived, he drove her to a street known as a place where prostitutes “hung out”. He dropped her off and told her to “catch dates”.
Having no home life to return to, and finding herself with virtually nowhere to go, she was still determined to cement a relationship with the man she met on the internet. She soon found out that he was a pimp and had several girls working for him. But Nina didn’t lose her resolve to capture the attention of the man she loved, so she agreed to do “tricks” for him.
There are no statistics from law enforcement as to the numbers of young women who are recruited in this fashion. But recent prosecutions and CNN interviews in California, Virginia and Washington have revealed an increasing number of women have been lured using social media.
“Pimps are professional exploiters,” says Andrea Powell, executive director of Fair Girls, an organization that helps victims of sex trafficking. “Often they’re just spamming a whole bunch of girls with messages like, ‘Hey, you look cute. I could be your boyfriend.'”
That’s one way Justin Strom – aka “J-Dirt” –recruited the high-school girls he and his followers trafficked in Alexandria, Va., an affluent suburb on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. For six years, the members of Strom’s “Underground Gangster Crips” gang operated a prostitution ring that ensnared at least eight 16- and 17-year olds, according to court documents.
The girls were expected to ‘service’ 10 customers a night at the going rate of 30 dollars for a 15 minute sexual encounter.
Columnist-The Guardian Express