1 – I CHECK FIRST with my parents, guardians, or other trusted adults before going anywhere, helping anyone, accepting anything, or getting into a car.
2 – I TAKE A FRIEND with me when going places or playing outside.
3 – I TELL people “NO” if they try to touch me or hurt me. It’s OK
for me to stand up for myself.
4 – I TELL my trusted adult if anything makes me feel sad, scared,
Sometimes there are people who trick or hurt others. No one has the right to do that to you. So use these rules, and remember you are STRONG, are SMART, and have the right to be SAFE.
TAKE A FRIEND
TELL PEOPLE “NO” IF THEY TRY TO TOUCH YOU OR HURT YOU
TELL AN ADULT YOU TRUST IF ANYTHING HAPPENS
KidSmartz is a child safety program that educates families about preventing abduction and empowers kids in grades K-5 to practice safer behaviors. This program offers resources to help parents, caregivers, and teachers protect kids by teaching and practicing the 4 Rules of Personal Safety using tips, printable activities, quizzes, articles, music, videos, and more.
“This crime occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will,” says NHTRC.
One may think that sex trafficking only happens in under-developed neighborhoods, or only in other countries. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller reiterates that is simply not true, as it happens in any neighborhood, and from any computer or phone.
In Marion County alone, there have been 20 sex traffickers prosecuted and 25 victims rescued just in the past six months.
Zoeller, an advocate for education and the ceasing of sex trafficking in the Hoosier state, says many victims may not even see themselves as victims. They may experience a phenomenon close to ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ or not know any other life than the toxic one they’re exposed to.
The AG says the victims are not to blame, but the main problem is the business world the traffickers are feeding into.
“This is a growing problem, and one we need to recognize is real. Many people don’t even believe this exists,” says Zoeller. “I’ve called for the fact that people should be arrested and put in jail, the same way we address drunk driving. You may lose your job, or at least the respect of your friends and community. So if we start raising the risk factor, I think we can really take a dent out of the demand that’s out there today.”
Northwest Ohio is also no stranger to human trafficking cases either, as Toledo was once rated fourth in the nation for youth-sex trade due to a high number of FBI busts. Some local coalition members say the busts are actually a good thing.
According to the NHTRC, there have been 289 human trafficking cases reported just this year. 233 of those cases are sex trafficking.
Even higher is the number of phone calls made to report a potential case: 1066.
Jennifer Wedge, a member of the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition, says high numbers is not a bad thing, but quite the opposite.
“If there’s a population center with a lot of identified human trafficking victims, it means something in that area is working,” says Wedge. “They’re getting them identified and getting them help. It does happen in every single zip code in our country and in every country around the world.”
Many victims are believed to be missing children.
That’s why Tim Wedge, a Forensics Science professor at Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio (and Jennifer’s husband) wanted to step in and help.
Wedge helped create FAGIN, Facial Analysis to Gain Information Now, a basic crude prototype that he and his students engineered.
FAGIN is designed to take missing person reports with pictures of missing children, run it through the facial analysis software by comparing them to pictures in ads for people being sold for sex online, and produce a report whenever there’s a match.
It even matches old pictures of the children, from the time when they went missing, to an aged picture years later when they’re being sold.
Wedge says FAGIN has the possibility of rescuing a shocking amount of victims.
“If we can take this crude prototype and turn it into a production system, we potentially can rescue every single one [victim] that’s being advertised online. That possibility exists. That [number of victims saved] is very likely going to be in the thousands,” Wedge says.
Wedge has showed the prototype to some law enforcement agencies to show how it works and how it can be made into a full production system.
He believes for that to happen, FAGIN needs the resources of law enforcement officers to officially use it for missing children like from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database, where 800,000 children are reported missing each year. One in five of them are sex trafficking victims.
Zoeller says knowing the signs of trafficking is prominent in eliminating the epidemic. Be on the lookout for young girls with an older man and it seems out-of-place. There might be some bruising or cuts on the victims, they might seem very controlled, looking down and staying quiet, and they might not have identification on them.
Zoeller says these recognizing these red flags and bringing it to someone’s attention could help get someone’s life back.
To report a potential human trafficking case anonymously, call the NHTRC at 1 (888) 373-7888 or send a text to 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”). Both are available 24/7.
An Ohio daycare worker has pleaded guilty to charges of sexually assaulting children.
Heather Koon, who worked at ABC Kidz Child Care in Elyria, was charged with rape and kidnapping for allegedly assaulting children as young as 1-year-old in the fall of 2013.
Officials said she even videotaped the molestations.
Koon’s fiancé, James Osbourne – a registered sex offender — was also charged in the case.
The Chronicle-Telegram reports that Koon raped four children at ABC Kidz, while she also took obscene photos of children at ABC Kidz and Country Day School in Amherst, where she took a job after leaving the daycare in Elyria.
Prosecutors said Osbourne provoked Koon’s actions. It wasn’t immediately clear how officials found out about the incidents.
Convicted sex offender attempts taking
LUBBOCK, TX – A Lubbock man has been arrested and charged with attempt to compel prostitution after he allegedly approached a 14-year-old girl at a 7-11 gas station on Parkway Drive on Tuesday.
The man has also been identified as a registered sex offender.
According to Lubbock police documents, just after 1:30 p.m., officers responded to the gas station after reports of an attempted kidnapping. The victim, a 14-year-old girl, was fueling up her mother’s car while her mother paid inside.
Reports say 53-year-old Ricky James Overhulser pulled up next to the girl and told her to get into his car. The girl refused and Overhulser told her again to get in his car and she refused a second time. He then asked her if she “dated.” She told him “no” and went into the store to get her mother.
“She got pretty startled, as a 14-year-old would, as you can imagine,” Lt. Ray Mendoza, Lubbock Police Department, says.
Police say when the mother came outside, Overhulser had driven away. She was finishing fueling up her car when he returned, pulled up close to her car and fanned cash while he asked, “how much for your daughter.” The girl’s mother called him a “dirty old man” and let him know she was calling police.
Overhulser drove away in a white Pontiac passenger car.
Mendoza says the mother and daughter were able to get a license plate number.
“The detectives get called to the scene, they immediately go looking for him, try to hunt him down,” he says. “We put out a broadcast to all our local officers. We reached out to DPS, the sheriff’s department, to be on the lookout.”
Enough information was gathered to obtain an arrest warrant late Wednesday night.
“He had a couple of municipal court warrants, so they were at least, trying to arrest him while the investigators continued to work the case,” Mendoza explains.
Overhulser was already in the Lubbock County Jail on unrelated charges and was re-arrested on the new charges.
Overhulser has been a registered sex offender since 2000, where his victim was a 16-year-old female, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety sex offender registry. He spent 10 years in jail, from 2000 until 2010.
“Always report any kind of suspicious behavior,” Mendoza says. “The citizens are our eyes and ears. If you see something, say something.”
Texas toddler diagnosed with HIV, genital herpes & chlamydia after being assaulted by uncle
March 18, 2016 – HOUSTON, TX – David Wilson was found guilty of child sex assault in a Houston court.
Wilson, a previous sex offender, was accused of molesting two young girls. The jury deliberated about an hour.
Wilson was found guilty of the sexual assault of a child in 2005 and sentenced to four years in prison. Six years later, Wilson has been found guilty again in a case that has lifelong consequences for two more children.
He was charged with super aggravated sexual assault of a child. The enhanced charge is because of the age of the victim. She was only 23 months old at the time. We have also been told that the child is Wilson’s niece.
A court document states that the assault occurred last year. The toddler’s parents are said to have lived out-of-state, had drug problems and sent their daughter to live with family in Houston. The child is the daughter of Wilson’s sister.
Last November, the toddler was taken to a doctor, where she was diagnosed with HIV, genital herpes and chlamydia. Re-constructive surgery was performed because of infection to her private parts. A doctor told investigators that she had to have been sexually abused because of the sexually transmitted diseases that were detected.
Four people in the home where the child lived were tested. Only one tested positive for HIV. It was David R. Wilson. It’s unclear why Wilson was not arrested at the time.
A 14-year-old girl spoke to the Children’s Assessment Center, telling a caseworker she had been having sex with a man for two years. She identified the man as David R. Wilson and said she was pregnant. An exam of the girl showed that she was HIV positive, had herpes and chlamydia.