Two major victories against child prostitution today: Twenty-nine people have been indicted in a sex trafficking ring in which Somali gangs in Minneapolis allegedly forced girls under age 14 into prostitution in at least three states, according to an indictment unsealed today. The indictment said one of the gangs' goals was recruiting females under age 18, including some under age 14, and forcing them into prostitution in exchange for cash, drugs, or other items.
Separately, the FBI nabbed 99 suspected pimps and freed 69 child prostitutes from sexual slavery in a nationwide operation that hit offenders in 40 cities across 30 states. The children were all returned to their families or placed in protective custody. Besides the pimps, 785 other adults were arrested during the sex worker sting. "There are groups of people out there preying on naive kids who don't have a good sense of the way of the world," says an FBI agent. "Sometimes there's a threat of force, threats of violence. A lot these kids operate out of a sense of fear."