HARTFORD — State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) applauded local law enforcement officers and the FBI for arresting a “pimp” and recovering five underage victims in the New Haven area during a nationwide sting operation.
According to a news release from the FBI, a sting conducted across the country resulted in the arrest of one unnamed “pimp” and the recovery of five underage victims in the New Haven area. Operation Cross Country VII was a three-day enforcement action to address commercial child sex trafficking throughout the United States. The operation included enforcement actions in 76 cities across 47 FBI divisions nationwide and led to the recovery of 105 children who were being victimized through prostitution. Additionally, 159 “pimps” were arrested on state and federal charges.
“I want to applaud the FBI, and local and state law enforcement for their continued efforts to bring those who commit heinous crimes like sex trafficking and prostitution to justice,” Rebimbas said in a news release. “I believe the state’s new tougher forfeiture laws for sex traffickers will lead to the elimination of these disgusting and disturbing crimes from our state. This is one business we can all agree should be eliminated from the state of Connecticut.”
Rebimbas helped spearhead a bipartisan effort to protect innocent victims of human and sex trafficking by championing a bill during the 2013 legislative session to strengthen penalties on violators.
H.B. 5666, An Act Concerning the Forfeiture of Moneys and Property Derived from Human or Sex Trafficking, stiffens penalties and authorizes the forfeiture of money and property used in or obtained or derived from the commission of crimes involving human and sex trafficking among other things. The final legislation was a combination of three separate bills each aimed at defending women from predators and prosecuting those who commit such heinous acts.
During testimony earlier in the year, Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families reported that since 2008 approximately 100 minor children in Connecticut have been positively identified as victims of sex trafficking. Of those, 98 percent have been involved with child welfare services in some way.
According to statistics provided by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, the Trafficking in Persons Council and other non-governmental agencies have provided services to 170 victims of human trafficking, and conducted 227 educational and public awareness trainings for 12,285 people in Connecticut.
According to the FBI release, the FBI and its task force partners have recovered more than 2,700 children from the streets to date. The investigations and subsequent 1,350 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including 10 life terms and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets.