It’s no secret that there are corners of the fashion and modeling industry that toe the line of, or, in plenty of notable cases, directly overlap with sex trafficking. You may remember the case of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein from a few years ago, who was accused of conspiring with MC2 agency owner Jean Luc Brunel of luring underage girls into the country for the purposes of sex work, as one high profile example.
Another has surfaced again recently with the sentencing of a 22 year old Houston man, Tevon Harris, to 40 years in prison after having been convicted of trafficking minors for commercial sex.
According to the plea deal, Harris would find girls on social media and promise them an opportunity to become models. Once he met them he would force them to have sex with himself and others.
According to the FBI’s statement:
Harris used violence to keep the minors cooperating with him. In one instance, he deprived a victim of food for more than four days because he did not believe she was servicing his clients well enough. He also supplied her with marijuana and alcohol. Another victim was beaten with a towel rack torn from a motel room wall when Harris found her using the phone to call her mother for help.
The victims were photographed and their images were posted in online ads for prostitution. Harris kept all monies they earned.
Jillian Mourning, herself a former victim of this type of crime, is the founder of All We Want Is LOVE – Liberation of Victims Everywhere, one of a growing number of groups dedicated to shedding lot on this despicable practice.
For more info, or for help, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.