Young prostitutes rescued in Super Bowl sting, FBI says
High school students, teens as young as 13 and other minors reported missing by their families were among 16 juveniles rescued from forced prostitution during Super Bowl festivities in and around New Jersey, the FBI said on Tuesday.
Authorities arrested more than 45 pimps and their helpers, some of whom said they traveled to the New York region to traffic the women and juveniles at the NFL championship at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The teens, ages 13 to 17, were found in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. More than 50 women coerced into sex for money were also saved, the agency said. Some of the victims had been involved in international sex trafficking.
Six children were rescued in both New Jersey and New York, and four others in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, the FBI said.
Social services — which included food, clothing and referrals to health care facilities and shelters —were provided to 70 women and juveniles.
The FBI and more than 50 other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies spent six months preparing for the two-week operation that recovered the victims. Hospitality workers, airport employees and others were trained to look for signs of sex trafficking, and New Jersey authorities put up billboards near the stadium as part of an anti-trafficking campaign, the Asbury Park Press reported.
The number of prostitution-related arrests jumped in the week leading to Sunday's match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.
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