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Published On: Thu, Feb 6th, 2014

Super Bowl sex trafficking crackdown leads to 45 arrests, 16 children rescued

Forty-five people were arrested and 16 juveniles rescued in a two-week crackdown on prostitution in the New York-New Jersey area leading up to last Sunday’s Super Bowl, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said on Tuesday.

The bureau said some of those arrested claimed they traveled to the site because of the high-profile football game, which drew an estimated 400,000 visitors to the region. The minors rescued ranged in age from 13 to 17 and included high school students and children reported missing by their families, the FBI said.

Arrests were made and victims recovered in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, said FBI spokeswoman Barbara Woodruff.

The FBI, backed by state and local law enforcement agencies, had mounted a major crackdown on human trafficking and prostitution ahead of the championship game Sunday, with some 3,000 law enforcement agents and civilians trained to help spot people who might be the victims of human trafficking.

Some trafficked women reported seeing up to 50 johns a day during Super Bowl, more than double the usual traffic, said Lori Cohen, director of Sanctuary for Families, which assists victims of human trafficking.

“Many of the men were setting up football parties where they are drinking, watching football and ordering in prostitutes,” Cohen said, adding that one woman she spoke with told her “it was really dangerous. If she was … at a party where the team was losing, the men would get really drunk and really violent.”

While the game has passed, the risk has not, said Michael Harpster, who heads the arm of the FBI that focuses on violent crimes against children.

photo Wset10

photo Wset10

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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