A teenage runaway led the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force to an individual who had young girls working for him on the streets.
Ms. Ballew: A teenage runaway led the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force to an individual who had young girls working for him on the streets.
Ms. Derby-McCurtain: “The youngest juvenile was 14 years old, the adult was 20. He also had a mentally challenged victim who he recruited at the age of 17.”
Ms. Ballew: That’s Tarna Derby-McCurtain from the FBI’s Seattle Division, who worked with the Tacoma and Lakewood Police Departments and the IRS on this case. She says traffickers look for girls who often come from desperate situations.
Ms. Derby-McCurtain: “Often, they do have a lot of problems at home, problems at school. They don’t have a whole lot of self-esteem, they are looking for someone to love and take care of them.”
Ms. Ballew: But they can get the opposite.
Ms. Derby-McCurtain: “They find that it’s a very violent way of life, then they remain in those relationships out of fear. They find it very difficult to get out, very fearful for their lives.”
Ms. Ballew: And they aren’t always volunteers.
Ms. Derby-McCurtain: “At least 90 percent of them have been recruited into prostitution by a pimp.”
Ms. Ballew: Thirteen years in prison, 10 years’ supervised release, and registry as a sex offender for this subject. I’m Denise Ballew of the Bureau, and that’s the FBI’s Closed Case of the Week.