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Largest United States Human Trafficking Event is the Super Bowl
As Super Bowl XLVII approached, which the Baltimore Ravens won 34-31 over the San Francisco 49ers, Clemmie Greenlee was preparing to sleep with 25 to 50 men on a daily basis. The Super Bowl seems to bring around more traffickers than any other event in the United States.
“The Super Bowl is the greatest show on Earth, but it also has an ugly underbelly,” Greg Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, said in 2011 to USA Today. “It’s commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States.”
According to a report from newsnet5.com, the massive amount of fans in the area allow victims and pimps to go almost unnoticed during the event.
“It’s not so much that you become a victim at the Super Bowl, but that many victims are brought in to be used for all the men at the Super Bowl,” Stephanie Kilper, a representative for Operation Freedom Taskforce in Akron, Ohio, said.
In 2010, Forbes reported that some 10,000 prostitutes were brought to Miami for the Super Bowl. When the Super Bowl was held in Dallas in 2011, 133 underage arrests were made for prostitution.
Greenlee, who is a former victim of sex trafficking, told the Times-Picayune that she was taken to various cities in the South for major events.
“If you don’t make that number (of sex customers), you’re going to dearly, dearly, severely pay for it,” Greenlee said in her interview with the Times-Picayune. “I mean with beatings, I mean with over and over rapings. With just straight torture. The worst torture they put on you is when they make you watch the other girl get tortured because of your mistake.”
FOX8 reported that five women had been rescued as of the Friday prior to Super Bowl week in New Orleans. Eight human trafficking related arrests had also been made as of that Friday. As the Super Bowl neared, law enforcement officials and advocacy groups worked together with local businesses to crack down on the number of cases.
Clubs, bars, and restaurants were issued pamphlets about sex trafficking and the signs to look for in potential cases. Hotels in the area were also handed bars of soap that had hotline numbers written on them so victims knew who to call for help.
“We treat these people as victims,” Ray Parmer, the local special agent-in-charge with Immigration and Customs Enforcement told FOX 8. “They are not arrested, they are not removed from the United States, we treat them as victims.”