U.S. 'sex culture' driving child prostitution
Jeff Johnson - OneNewsNow
4/25/2008 12:00:00 PM

A former federal prosecutor says the easy availability of online pornography is contributing to another, much more dangerous problem.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, in the past ten months police have discovered more than 170 underage children, some as young as 11, being pimped out on the streets of Oakland, California. Pat Trueman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, is former chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. He believes that the growth of the child prostitution industry can be easily traced.
"What you're finding in today's society is a greater interest in illicit sex than ever before," he laments. "The Internet has caused that because an individual can go on the Internet, see hardcore pornography, see child pornography, and have almost zero chance of being caught. The next thing they want to do, then, is have sex with a prostitute," Trueman contends.
Trueman believes the blame lies first with the men who seek out children for sex. "The 'John' -- that is, the person who's looking for a prostitute -- will pay more, thinking that the child prostitute has less a chance of disease. They're prettier than someone who's a 40-year-old prostitute ... it's a novelty that they think, by paying for that, they'll enjoy [a child] more than an older prostitute," Trueman points out.
However, according to Trueman, the pimps who coerce or force these children into sex for money are just as much at fault. "Pimps are making a lot of money on this. None of the money really goes to the child prostitutes," states the attorney. "The pimps know how to control them and keep them working with threats, or keep them working because the child prostitute has been thrown out of their own home; they have no place to go, and the pimp offers them a kind of a 'love' -- that is, a room to sleep in and clothes, etc. The child goes out and earns money and must give it all to the pimp," Trueman says.
Because threats and violence are usually used by pimps to control child prostitutes, many cities are starting to treat them as victims, providing social services rather than arresting them.
Trueman says it is often difficult to catch child sex traffickers because they move from city to city, following the demand from conventions and other high-profile events. Although the Mercury News story was about child prostitution in California, he says it could just as easily have been about Atlanta or Chicago. "The problem that you're seeing with child prostitution is a problem that is booming in cities across America," he shares. "It's the sex culture that we live in."

Original article: One News Now
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