Jessica Luebbert, a Jefferson City native, worked as a bartender and dancer in Columbia. Sean, a regular customer at the bar where Luebbert worked, would tell her he simply wanted to talk with her, she said. Nothing perverted. He was a friend. The Columbia Missourian reports, he eventually lured Luebbert into sex slavery under false pretenses of a modeling career by building up a friendship over time. She was drugged, raped and beaten in a villa for three days in Maui, Hawaii, she said.
The state is tied with Washington, D. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center defines human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use forcefraud or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against their will.
Sincemore than 1, calls have been made from Missouri to the National Human Trafficking hotline, the same site reported. Louis and Kansas City are hotspots for human trafficking.
Missouri is responding through legislation, law enforcement and grassroots organizations that work to combat and raise awareness about trafficking. Louis is one of the top 20 trafficking destinations in the country. Because of our highway system, highway 70 and 44, we have a lot of possibilities for that.
As the friendship progressed and trust grew, Sean opened up to Luebbert about his career as a modeling agent, and he said she had what it took for the industry. He offered her an all-inclusive trip to Maui, Hawaii, for a photo shoot. After ing a contract, Luebbert was on her way to a modeling career, or so she thought. There are approximately 21 million slaves in the world today, which the International Labor Organization says is a modest estimate. Although modern slavery is pervasive internationally, it hits closer to home than many might realize. As Sean drove Luebbert to the airport, red flags began emerging as their plans switched unexpectedly.
Their planes were somehow changed and postponed. They missed their flight.
When they finally boarded the plane, Sean disappeared. On the second flight, the airline switched.
They suddenly needed to fly to Los Angeles. Then they missed their flight again.
A sleek, black car immediately met Luebbert at the airport, and she was told that Sean was already at the resort. As she leaned forward in the car, Luebbert noticed five or six pictures of girls. She said she thought they were models. The car stopped outside a villa where Luebbert was left without any of her belongings. The black car was gone, and Luebbert opened the villa door to find three older men, about 65 years old.
She was immediately injected in the arm and hip and suddenly felt heavy, almost as if she was under an anesthetic.
At this villa, Luebbert said she was drugged, raped and beaten for three days by these men who said they bought her from Sean. Luebbert said it was a vicious cycle: shots of medicine, rape, the medicine would wear off, she would fight back and be beaten. Over time, Luebbert said she noticed a trash man outside that would come every now and then. On the third day, she knew this man was her only hope for freedom. Luebbert busted through the villa door to the trash man. Law enforcement arrived quickly and took her from the villa.
But instead of relief, Luebbert said she felt shame. Luebbert was able to fly back to Missouri with the help of a mentor back home.
She immediately isolated herself in her apartment for about 13 days. She was later diagnosed with curable diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia, but some more severe injuries from the abuse still afflict Luebbert. Severe arthritis from fractures in her neck and spine creates problems in her spinal cord and nervous system. Luebbert said she did not realize she had been trafficked until seven years after the incident when she heard another survivor tell a story about being trafficked. Four bills are making their way through the Missouri legislature that would raise awareness for human trafficking and expand the definition of sex trafficking.
House Billsponsored by Republican Rep. Cloria Brown, would require various establishments to hang posters with information about human trafficking and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline. The bill covers most avenues for traffickers to ensnare victims, like false pretenses of massage parlors, brothels, escort services, street prostitution and Internet-based prostitution.
A study conducted by the Urban Institute in March found almost all types of these commercial sex venues in major cities in the U. Sex trafficking takes place in public and private locations, including strip clubs, according to the Office on Trafficking in Persons. Victims may start off dancing or stripping in clubs and later be coerced into situations of prostitution and pornography. The other three bills would broaden the definition of human trafficking to include advertisement of in a commercial sex act. Senate Billsponsored by Republican Sen.
This is the second time Haahr has filed the bill. It was probably my biggest disappointment from last session. Louis Police Department. The other three bills would also be helpful because they will give the department more opportunities to charge traffickers, she said. But the bills do not solve the problem. Missouri passed some legislation in and to combat human trafficking.
Senate Bills and passed in to restrict sexually-oriented businesses because they were linked to crimes like prostitution and sexual assault, according to a Missourian report. The law requires adult businesses in Missouri to close from midnight to 6 a.
Strip clubs are allowed to stay open, but the law bans full nudity at all times and physical contact between semi-nude dancers and patrons. It also restricts new sexually-oriented businesses from setting up shop within 1, feet of any school, house of worship, day care, library, public park, residence or another sexually-oriented business. House Bill was passed in to authorize the Department of Public Safety to establish procedures for identifying human trafficking victims and to develop training programs.
The bill also authorized establishing protocol for appropriate agencies on how to educate employees on identifying and assisting victims. The Department of Public Safety does not currently fund any anti-human trafficking organizations, but some anti-trafficking organizations may receive grant money from the department. Despite these advancements, Luebbert Craigslist Columbia Missouri MO sex there are more areas that deserve attention, such as education for younger generations and law enforcement.
Louis police officers are required to attend training biannually, and human trafficking is addressed during one of those sessions. The department also has detectives who specialize in human trafficking and work with local organizations that combat trafficking, Clayborn-Muldrow said.
The department offers training for businesses, organizations, schools and other groups interested in learning about human trafficking. The class covers the definition of human trafficking, how to identify it and who to contact if they believe human trafficking is taking place. Clayborn-Muldrow said the training is more popular now that human trafficking receives more media attention. The U. The project was created to help identify victims, provide them with immediate protection and support and work with survivors to further investigate and prosecute traffickers.
The operation has successfully investigated and convicted large human trafficking scandals since The Columbia Police Department offered a three-day training session on how to identify human trafficking crimes inaccording to a Missourian report. The training was hosted by the U. Officers learned about the history of human trafficking, how to recognize trafficking and how the community can help police identify trafficking situations.
But there has still been no institutionalized training for all levels of law enforcement in Missouri. There are more than 15 organizations throughout Missouri that help raise awareness about human trafficking and rehabilitate survivors. The coalition works to abolish trafficking in central Missouri through education, community outreach and supporting survivors. The coalition has worked alongside legislators since by giving survivor testimonies at public hearings and allocating funds for law enforcement training to the Department of Public Safety.
Members of the coalition have been a part of the Human Trafficking Task Force and worked with Haahr on bills to include advertisement in the definition of sex trafficking. Most importantly, the posters that would be mandated through House Bill omit a zero-tolerance policy for traffickers in Missouri, she said. Some law enforcement agencies have received some training from local organizations that are able to offer it, Ward said. Law enforcement education is part of St. Louis Rescue and Restore. ZIP: 65202 65203 65201 65215 65211 65216 65217 65218 65299