A runaway teen in Georgia who makes her way to Atlanta has a day, maybe two, before someone tries to turn her into a prostitute. For many teens—without food or shelter and often already the victim of sexual abuse—selling their bodies seems like the only way to get a meal. Stopping the cycle is difficult—some 400 girls are commercially sexually exploited each month in Georgia.
More suspects have been charged in connection with what federal prosecutors say was a sex trafficking ring that forced women into prostitution and traded them like slaves between cities in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas.
The Senate has unanimously approved legislation that overhauls the way Georgia treats sex traffickers by imposing higher fines and stiffer sentences while also offering new treatment options to people who could be victims of the sex slave trade.