20 adults arrested for child prostitution during Final Four in Atlanta
While Atlanta is lauded for its infamous strip clubs and train wreck reality TV shows, it’s also known as the hub for commercial sexual exploitation of children, commonly referred to as child prostitution. During the recent 2013 NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship, while the University of Louisville was securing their national title defeating the University of Michigan, the FBI and its partners, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Atlanta Police Department (APD), were ridding the streets of sex offenders. A total of 21 suspects were arrested.
The law enforcement officers, court officials and faith-based organizations were on a mission to lift the veil off the “shadowy” world of pimping children.
According to the data compiled by Georgia Governor’s Task Force on Children and Families, 200-500 underage girls a month, were sexually exploited between August 2007 and August 2011.
Tournaments like the NCAA and its ancillary events present prime opportunities for pimps to maximize their profits. On April 4, 2013 through April 8, 2013, the “Atlanta Field Office FBI’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force (MATCH) conducted operations to identify, locate, and recover child victims of sexual exploitation for profit. This includes child prostitution to identify, locate, prosecute and/or disrupt individuals and/or criminal enterprises responsible for their sexual exploitation,”according to a press statement released by the Atlanta division of the FBI.
Seven juveniles were brought to safety. Among the 20 adults arrested for state sexual exploitation for pimping related charges were Brianne Marcelin, 23, Kourtes Laster-Johnson, 18 and Lovell Barnett, 18; and as for Bryant Bailey, 29, he was arrested by APD on state human trafficking related charges – bringing the arrest count to 21.
The FBI can’t do this alone. There are a host of organizations that need our support and financial help to stop this disgrace. Operational Intentional Foul is just the beginning. Living Water for Girls, StreetGrace, Stop the Silence and so many more. The EndItMovement is another step in the right direction. Make your pledge today.