Sex trafficking hysteria is the new “War on Drugs.” Like the war on drugs, virtually every category of do-gooder is getting duped once again.
By Elizabeth Nolan Brown
It’s been nearly a week since Florida police started bragging about their big “human trafficking” bust, an operation that pulled in professional football owner Robert Kraft, more than 150 other men, and several Chinese immigrant women associated with Asian spas in Palm Beach County. Police say the spas were fronts for prostitution, that the workers there were victims of sex trafficking, and that their six-month long investigation was time well spent.
Six months is a long time, however, and it’s hard to reconcile the cops’ timeline with their heroic rhetoric. If the women employed at these businesses were really the victims of “modern slavery,” why did police take six months to get them out of that situation? Why did it require repeat intimate undercover visits and building misdemeanor prostitution charges against all sorts of random men before these “heroes” decided to intervene?
It’s one of many elements that don’t add up with what prosecutors are saying in public and what’s actually happened in the case.
At a press conference (partially aired on CNN) today, Palm Beach District Attorney Dave Aronberg spent most of his time talking about the theoretical horrors that could occur in situations like this. “Modern day slavery,” as Aronberg called it, “can happen anywhere, including in the peaceful community of Jupiter.”
However, no human trafficking charges were filed among the hundreds of (current and coming) prostitution charges, he admitted, adding that first-time offenders (like Robert Kraft) are “very unlikely to get any significant” time behind bars.
“There’s no allegation that any defendant engaged in human trafficking,” said Aronberg.