Sex trafficking

Nancy Grace: Sex trafficked kids often ‘described as runaways’

CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace spoke with Fox & Friends Weekend about recent law enforcement operations aimed at locating missing and endangered children in several states, including Georgia, Ohio, and New Jersey.

“I hope you’re sitting down,” she said, “because just last year 420,000 plus children went missing. Here’s the problem: Many of them are described as runaways, [but] the reality is, about one in four are being sex trafficked.”

But, Grace said, there is “not a single entity” perpetrating a nationwide conspiracy to abduct and traffic children.

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“No, no, no,  no. It’s not a single entity,” she said. “Very often, it could be a single pimp. But sometimes it’s multiple — typically men but women too … who work on getting children, getting them into houses, beating them, not letting them leave,” she said, adding that trafficked children are often seen but not recognized. “So you’ll see several pimps that are sex traffickers, or just one.”

CrimeOnline has recently reported on “Operation Screen Capture” in New Jersey, which netted 21 suspects luring children online; “Operation Not Forgotten” in Georgia, which located 39 missing or endangered children and arrested nine suspects; and “Operation Safety Net” in Ohio, which has brought 25 children home while dozens more remain missing.

Not all of the children are being sex trafficked, Grace pointed out, and some are being abused, neglected, or prostituted by their own parents. The horrors happen everywhere, Grace said, but “it’s not a nationwide thing,” coordinated centrally by any single individual or group.

Grace also discussed the California Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Scott Peterson’s death sentence for the 2005 deaths of his wife, Laci Peterson, and unborn son.

“Many of us have still stayed in very close touch after the Scott Peterson guilty verdict, and I can tell you that Laci’s family is in such pain, devastated,” said Grace.

“Remember, Sharon Rocha, Laci’s mother, went out and tried to keep the death penalty,” Grace said. “The majority in California voted not to repeal it, but Governor Newsom has put a moratorium on it. That means Scott Peterson will soon be in the general population.”

Peterson is still at San Quentin prison, Grace said, where he’s likely to remain until one side or the other decides to appeal the latest ruling. Then, she said, “I think they may go forward with a trial.”

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[Featured image: Fox & Friends Weekend]