Sex-trafficked — and jailed
For years, allegations that R. Kelly was abusing young women and girls swirled. This week, the singer was found guilty of sex trafficking in federal court. But not all child sex-trafficking victims get justice — instead, many of them are arrested.
Jessica Contrera has done a lot of reporting on child sex trafficking in the United States. When she saw the R. Kelly verdict this week, the cases of hundreds of other sex-trafficked children came to mind.
“People were finally praising and recognizing these Black girls who came forward again and again and went through the grueling process of what it takes to testify in a case like this, and thanking them for coming forward and for their bravery,” Contrera says. “But it’s important to remember the context that Black girls who are sex-trafficking victims are also the most likely to be treated as criminals for being sold for sex.”
Every year, Contrera says, dozens of teenagers are locked up despite being victims of a crime. In Las Vegas, Contrera went on a ride-along with a vice unit as it arrested child sex-trafficking victims, and she reports on what it was like for these youths to be sent to detention centers rather than given help.
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store