Super Bowl: Authorities, nonprofit group work to combat spike in sex trafficking as game approaches
By Veronica Miracle
February 4, 2022
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INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) — For the host city of each Super Bowl, there’s a guaranteed influx of visitors and money. And while a boost for the Inglewood economy is welcome, there’s a dark side to hosting the big game.
Every year, no matter where the Super Bowl is hosted, experts say there’s a spike in the demand for sex-trafficking victims. Sometimes those victims are children.
“Many of those hotel rooms were full with children and minors,” said Alan Smyth, executive director of Saving Innocence, a nonprofit group that rescues children from sex traffickers. “And for some, that’s a welcome revelation and others not necessarily, but they already paid their money and they showed up and, ‘This is what I’m doing.’ They’ve already kind of sold that part of their soul. Once they’ve crossed the line to actually buy a human being for their own personal gratification, it’s a pretty small leap then. They’re not going to split hairs in terms of what the age is and those kinds of things. It’s pretty heartbreaking for the kids.”
The youngest sex-trafficking victim Saving Innocence has helped was just 7 years old.
“Anyone coming to the Super Bowl is wealthy,” Smyth said in an interview with ABC7. “The cost of getting into the Super Bowl and going to stay in the expensive hotels and buying the meals. They’re not here just for the game. They’re probably here for several days, and there’s a small percentage of mostly men that will use that as an opportunity, as part of their entertainment to have some form of sexual encounter.” …