Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking is a crime committed by a person who causes a vulnerable individual to engage in a commercial sex act, often through the purchase or offer of sex for money. The trafficker then takes the proceeds from this transaction for him or herself. Both adults and minors can be victims of sex trafficking.

How Pervasive Is Sex Trafficking?

Unfortunately, sex trafficking is widespread throughout California and across the country. According to the International Labor Organization, an estimated 4.8 million people worldwide, mostly women and children, are victims of the commercial sex trade. In the United States, an estimated 1 in 7 runaways are likely to become victims of sex trafficking.

California is one of the largest sites of human trafficking in the United States. According to federal reports, there are between 14,500 and 17,500 cases of trafficking every year. Of those, 1,656 occur in California, with 1,226 being sex trafficking cases.

While there is no single profile for a sex trafficking survivor, they are often:

  • From a low socio-economic status
  • Minors who were in and out of the juvenile justice system
  • Immigrants
  • Runaways
  • Children in foster care
  • People with a history of domestic violence or sexual abuse
  • People suffering from substance abuse
  • Most victims of sex trafficking are female, but there are also male and transgender individuals.

Why Resolute Trials?

Resolute Trials seeks justice for survivors of sex trafficking by targeting the third-party entities that encourage and allow sex trafficking to flourish. Once a survivor is identified, Attorney Swanson will use his extensive contacts with law enforcement and survivor organizations to obtain services for his clients, such as career training, psychological counseling, tattoo removal, shelter, family training, and therapy, as well as helping with legal services for those survivors facing criminal charges. While an award of money is important, Mr. Swanson’s goal is to help a survivor find the path toward a successful future.

The founder of Resolute Trials and a veteran trial attorney with over 20 years of experience, Ted Swanson was a District Attorney in Los Angeles County for 16 years, where he helped to establish the County’s Human Sex Trafficking Section. Mr. Swanson was with the unit for six years and eventually became its Deputy in Charge. During that time, Mr. Swanson tried 11 human trafficking cases to verdict without losing a single one, and handled hundreds of other cases, from preliminary hearing to disposition. In addition, Mr. Swanson is a board member of Saving Innocence, one of the premier rescue organizations in California, and remains actively involved in advocating for survivors.

As a result, Mr. Swanson is intimately familiar with the “rules of The Game,” including its norms and culture, and is particularly empathetic to the survivors as he helps them find their way out. Attorney Swanson is personally involved in every aspect of a case, and his approach puts him in contact with his client every step of the way, allowing him to devote himself to seeking justice for survivors of sex trafficking.

Who Is Liable in a Sex Trafficking Case?

Sex trafficking organizers can be family members, pimps, gangs, and other organizations. These individuals can be held criminally liable for their role in sex trafficking. When third parties profit from commercial sex activities, while knowing these acts are taking place, they may “step into the shoes” of the traffickers in a civil context, which means they can be held monetarily liable for all injuries (physical, sexual, emotional and mental) to the trafficking victims.

Sex Trafficking and Business Establishments

When people think of sex trafficking, many times they think of the pimps or traffickers that are directly responsible for causing their victims to engage in commercial sex acts. However, many hotels, motels, casinos, resorts, nightclubs, truck stops, airlines, and other business establishments also profit from the sex trade, whether by directly encouraging traffickers to use their establishments or turning a blind eye to the practice. When they do this, these third-party organizations may be held responsible for openly allowing trafficking to occur, failing to intervene, and making a profit on the sex trade. These organizations know what to look for and are often required to install proper lighting and video cameras, as well as to train their employees on recognizing the signs of trafficking and to post human trafficking notices on their premises. Under California law, when individuals and businesses ignore red flags and knowingly allow sex trafficking to occur at their establishments, they can and should be held liable. This means they can be forced to pay the victims of sex trafficking monetary restitution.

Sex Trafficking and Social Media

Sex traffickers use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, BackPage, SnapChat, WhatsApp, and other sites to groom and market children and adults for sex trafficking. The process often begins when sex traffickers contact vulnerable individuals through social media platforms and promise them excitement, protection, electronics, drugs, clothes, jewelry, and money. Victims will often be pressured into engaging in the commercial sex trade, where they eventually will face physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse and can even be kidnapped or murdered.

Resolute Trials holds perpetrators and social media platforms accountable for their role in the sex trafficking trade. Attorney Swanson has the civil and criminal background, experience, expertise, and resources to file and litigate sex trafficking cases in court and hold the wrongdoers responsible for their actions.

Damages in a Sex Trafficking Case

A civil lawsuit for sex trafficking seeks to compensate the victim for the physical, mental, sexual, and emotional pain and suffering they had to endure. Victims may be able to seek compensation without needing to publicly disclose their identity.

If you or a loved one is a victim of sex trafficking, contact Resolute Trials today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.