Just a quick post before work–
I’ve covered the anti-trafficking efforts in Rhode Island and did not support criminalizing indoor prostitution. Since the law passed I’ve always said I’d be glad to be proved wrong. Like most who worked on this issue, my agenda has been helping victims and bringing justice.
PROVIDENCE –– Two New York men who the police say came to Rhode Island because of a loophole legalizing indoor prostitution are now the first to be prosecuted for human trafficking and enslavement since prostitution was made illegal in the state.
Andy Fakhoury and Joseph Defeis, both 23, are accused of trafficking and enslaving teenagers as young as 16 and putting them to work as prostitutes in an Elmhurst apartment, in the heart of a block of college rental apartments.
The crimes came to light last month, the police say, after a friend of a 19-year-old woman contacted the Providence police and said the teenager was being forced into prostitution.
Providence police Maj. Thomas F. Oates III said the case then became “a rescue mission.”
When you read the article you will note that this was a well-planned investigation involving multiple agencies with the focus on prosecuting human trafficking. This kind of police work does not happen without political will and it does not come cheap. However, we could become a state that traffickers will want to avoid, because crimes such as rape and extortion will not be treated as victimless.