Colorado officials say that 18 kids were retrieved and nearly a dozen alleged pimps were taken into custody after an intensive investigation into area child sex trafficking. This endeavor was part of a national effort that led to the recovery of more than 160 children and the apprehension of 281 accused pimps nationwide. Two of the alleged Colorado offenders were arrested in Aurora. Both of those men, ages 19 and 20, are accused of sex crimes including pimping a child.
Many of the children in these cases are reportedly runaway teens or youngsters who become acquainted with the defendants after they leave home. The girl who was allegedly being prostituted by the two defendants in this case was 16 years old, but it appears that she also had a history of mental disorders. The young woman told officers that she was working as a prostitute for the two men, and that they threatened to beat her if she did not collect an appropriate amount of money from her "dates." Of course, this girl's testimony is only as credible as the evidence that supports it -- the fact that she suffers from mental or emotional shortcomings could have some bearing on the case.
Several other adults were also arrested in the sting, including four men in Douglas County, two men in Mason County and another man in Grand Junction. Those defendants were accused of sex crimes including soliciting sex from minors and Internet luring of a child. One Ohio resident was also apprehended in the Colorado sweep.
It is important to remember that criminal defendants in sex cases still have rights in court. These men are not automatically considered guilty because they were arrested. Such defendants deserve a fair and unbiased legal proceeding, no matter how distasteful the charges may be. The American justice system depends on this shielding of defendants' rights.
Source: The Denver Post, "FBI operation into sex trafficking rescues 18 Colorado children" Noelle Phillips, Jun. 23, 2014