A Houston man is the first person in the Southern District of Texas to be charged in federal court with sex trafficking of a minor, KHOU.com's Jeff McShan reported.
by KHOU.com Staff
Posted on March 24, 2010 at 6:14 AM
HOUSTON -- A Houston man is the first person in the Southern District of Texas to be charged in federal court with sex trafficking of a minor, KHOU.com's Jeff McShan reported.
Barry Davis, who was arrested in July by a federal task force, is on trial in a Houston court.
It's a problem that has become an epidemic around the country.
“American teenagers are being forced into sex trafficking on a daily basis and it’s not about the money in those situations,” said Maria Trujillo with Houston Rescue and Restore. “These are just young girls looking for love, attention, and affection.”
Trujillo says the teenagers are manipulated by so-called "pimps" who force them to work as prostitutes.
“In these horrible situations where they're turning tricks 10-to-15 Johns a night,” she said.
In Federal Court Tuesday 11 News learned that Davis allegedly met a 16-year-old high school student in Pasadena after she got off her school bus. Prosecutors say she decided to run away with him.
Davis allegedly took the girl and two others from Texas to New Jersey, New York, Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, and Washington D.C., coercing them into having sex with strangers.
An FBI agent testified that Davis used the Web site EROS.com to advertise their services. It was his way to make money.
Evidence presented in court Tuesday included photographs of his girls and a chalice known to be carried by pimps.
Davis went by the name Sir Lewis and it was engraved into the chalice.
The 16-year-old girl involved in this case is being treated as a victim.
In fact, the task force, which includes the Houston Police Department, says that in the last five years it has rescued more than 100 girls from lives of prostitution.
“Houston is a hub for human trafficking in the United States and we really need to bring awareness to the community about this issue if we ever want to bring an end to modern day slavery,” Trujillo said.
If convicted, Davis could spend the rest of his life in prison.
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