Police said they have uncovered 15 victims of a 1990’s male trafficking ring, one that was discovered recently in 2016 by a state probation officer. A victim reported it to the probation officer, and it was subsequently reported to the correct authorities. Currently, two men have pleaded guilty to trafficking-related charges, and third is up for trial in the next year. This delayed reporting of male sex trafficking highlights the continued issue of underreported male sex trafficking crimes. Men are less likely to come forward to discuss these crimes, as stereotypically we see that men are less likely to be seen as victims. It is also not uncommon for men to be worried that their sexuality will come into question when they report these crimes, which usually leads to delayed reports such as in this situation.
The men who were involved in these crimes target younger men and boys who had severe mental issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder and heavy drug addictions to heroin, cocaine, and other addictive chemical substances. Some of the victims would be promised drugs and were pulled out of rehab centers. They were then forced into performing sexual acts for money to pay the men back for the drugs they received and were threatened with bodily harm if they did not comply. These victims, who were already disturbed before the crimes, now have to deal with the mental issues that this forced prostitution brings on. They and their families will forever be scarred by what transpired all those years ago.
Samuel Marino, an apparent victim of this crime ring, led police on a car chase after carjacking a woman in 2009, which led to his crash and death. It was later revealed that he was a victim of sex trafficking crimes, and never explained to his parents or police that he was forced into performing sexual acts on men. A handwritten note by Marino was found years later in the home of one of the men charged in the case, and it conveyed just how much sadness and shame the whole ordeal had brought into Samuel’s life.
According to The National Human Trafficking Hotline, 13% of the trafficking cases reported in the last year involved male victims. The U.S. Department of Justice also conducted interviews with youths involved in the sex trade, and 36% of them were male. The sexual orientation of the male victims seems to not be of import to traffickers, as through coercion, incentives, and threats they can force the victims into any act. Despite a large number of male victims in the sex trade, only 2 of the 222 anti-trafficking institutions that receive federal funding are on record being committed to fighting the trafficking of males and young boys. This apparent disparity and stereotypical treatment of male sex victims must be dealt with sooner than later.
KBA Attorneys wants to ensure any client that your situation will be dealt with professionally. Your story, no matter how hard to tell, will help you and other victims of sex crimes see justice served to those who wronged you. At KBA, we will do everything in our power to make sure that you are taken care of, and that you will have peace of mind. If you or someone you know has been a victim of any crime, contact us today for a private consultation.