A nationwide sex crimes sweep has led to the recovery of two minor girls in Maryland — along with the arrest of five people who are accused of sexually exploiting those youngsters. The girls were found through the Operation Cross Country endeavor, which seeks to ferret out solicitation and prostitution related to sex trafficking throughout the country. In addition to the two girls, three adult women were given assistance by Maryland authorities in connection with the case.
Authorities say that the two girls in the case had been subjects of a variety of advertisements throughout the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area. The girls were allegedly put up for prostitution through social media and other Internet tools. Clients would set up appointments for sex with the girls at area hotels, according to investigators.
In many cases, law enforcement officers extend assistance to those who are in the sex trade, offering them amnesty for prostitution charges since they may be victims of human trafficking. The adult women who accepted help through the department will likely not face any criminal ramifications because of their alleged prostitution. Instead, they will be given assistance to help them out of their current occupation and into a safer, healthier environment.
Initiatives such as Operation Cross Country target the root of solicitation and prostitution: the pimps and clients. Those who are afraid that they may face charges for prostitution may benefit from the amnesty extended by this type of initiative. Sex workers are not always given a choice about whether to enter the industry — in many cases, they are illegally conscripted. Those victims deserve a second chance — and that is exactly what is being offered through this nationwide endeavor.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Baltimore County girl rescued in FBI prostitution sting,” June 23, 2014.