On April 8, a 15-year-old Texas girl attended a Dallas Mavericks home game with her father – the kind of daddy/daughter date usually remembered fondly by both for years to come. But on this occasion, the evening ended in horror for both the girl and her parents.
Shortly before halftime the girl left her seat to use the restroom, and never returned. Though her father reported her missing before the game even ended, the family’s attorney now says “Dallas police never began an investigation and failed to make any efforts to locate the teenage girl.” Instead, he was told after the game, with no indication of his daughter’s whereabouts available, to go home and wait until he heard something from the authorities.
The family’s anguish dragged on. Over several days the family called the Dallas Police Department, before turning to a nonprofit organization, the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative, and found that the girl was being advertised and sold for sex in Oklahoma City.
Eight people have been arrested thus far in connection with the case, the charges ranging from human trafficking and distribution of child pornography to rape.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, family attorney Zeke Fortenberry “sent a letter to the Dallas Police Department, the American Airlines Center, the Dallas Mavericks and Extended Stay America saying that their actions or policies failed the victim and her family.”
Fortenberry says the family’s complaints against the Mavericks and America Airlines Center center on the man, who left the arena with the girl, holding a fraudulent ticket. The person who had sold the ticket to the man was known to be engaging in this activity by both the Mavericks and the America Airlines Center, yet the man with the fraudulent ticket still gained access to a restricted area where he met the girl. The issue with Extended Stay America centers on its employees at the Oklahoma City location, where police discovered the girl, having insufficient training to recognize the sex trafficking activities taking place.
A side note from WFAA’s story on the crime:
Fortenberry said he has not yet received a response from any of the parties to whom he sent the letter. But he said he hopes to hear back within the next month, so the situation can be settled without a lawsuit.
The story highlights a dreadful reality. Sex trafficking is not solely young women smuggled across the border. It happens here at home. To those involved in the crime, may God have mercy on their souls as no one else on this planet will be similarly inclined. For the girl, a prayer that she finds healing.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Kevin Downey Jr. at our sister site, PJ Media, has posted the names of those arrested in this case, and helpful tips to keep your children safe from human and sex trafficking.)