In Texas, the foster care system is failing the vulnerable children it’s meant to protect, leaving them without a safe place to live. Many end up on the streets or in jail, which is one of the few places where they can receive treatment services. This week we look into the crisis in foster care, and efforts to fix it.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey, it is your favorite host in all of pod custom. Now for the rest of the year, I'm gonna be asking you to join us by becoming a member of reveal reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads telling stories that matter for more than three years now reveal has been fighting a lawsuit. That's been jeopardizing our very existence of restoring we. About an organization called planet aid. Our story raises serious questions about whether international aid was actually reaching the people. It was intended to help and what's more, our story was truthful and we stand by it. We believe it's our duty to fight attacks like this, but fighting a lawsuit comes at a huge costs, are legal fees alone totalled more than seven million dollars? Luckily, we have pro bono legal support to help our in house counsel, but it still takes significant resources, resources that should be used to do more public service journalists. This kind of investigative
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to reaching, I think I understand she may be in Harris taxes. These days Leon on I want to make one on each other friends charter uncle. Finally, he done touch The lawyer, so did you at the meeting with Jean all over the dreadful owe, and every information? EDGAR was working on a story about the child welfare system in Texas and found story buried in thousands of pages of court documents. You want to talk to a person about what she's been through dating from our reaction, Didn't like she was interested in talking arm was hard to say. The programme is young woman. Finally, after four months ago,
finds out. Gene is living with her mom in a trailer park. It turns out. They do live. Right on the edge pairs, Paris, Texas, sleepy world town near the border with Oklahoma, the egg or surprise Jean invite him to companies I was telling my mom kid at first, I wasn't going to call him back. Jeans got pale skin and freckles she's, slender and so small. She almost disappears into the big blue armchair living room. Four months, she's been afraid to talk, but now that she and EDGAR are face to face she is ready to open up and ours. In their tell him, I'm on my man, I am twenty one years old, ass ill to this day have air everything gets pal, backup, impound, backup held back up everything. The genes been through comes back to a dramatic childhood, a child welfare system, but failed,
to help her difficult story here and not appropriate for all listeners achieve still trying to be passed. She shows EDGAR. Her tattoos allow ankle its cherry heart. One for each one of my kids, and then I have my daughter's name or my bad she's planning. I'm getting another tattoo of work, love, love to say now everything that I've been through and I still have the heart of gold. The state is good apart genes life for almost ten years, but she's
What time here in foster care, as especially damaging across the country. There are hundreds of thousands of kids adrift in foster care and texted has especially big problems. Every week more than twenty kids run away from foster care here, a lot of them end up on the street and find themselves forced to sell sex to survive. Our partners at the Texas Tribune have been investigating why so many foster kids end up being exploited by traffic, and how the child welfare system fails. Kids, like Jean here at protecting me, you're, not protecting my family, child protective who says her they're, not therefore, the children they damage as more than they help us the waters of the texts. Tribute picks up Jane story, gene doc, slowly back and forth in her chair as she opens up, she smokes a cigarette and gets up every human
Stu shoe away. One of her cats, her mom, mostly state In the other room, except to check in on her a couple of times living longer as our conversation takes a dark turn. Jean stays a beat. She laughs alot during our interview, but that abruptly changes. When I bring up one thing: her dad young man, my dad was, we were close, drove a school bus fare. This will, then I went to erode the school bus school with hammer this delay how we can give parents were separated and she lived with her mom when she was young Her mom struggled with drug addiction, so Jean moved in with her dad when she was nine, no. Ever imagined what would happen next. Her father pulled her out of school and over the next five years he raped. Her repeatedly
Lee, he got her pregnant, and so I am it's hard for gene to talk about My last turn, my colleague Nina Strategic, but it's Jean who reassures us now you found its Jean who reassures us now You find ok, fine gave it's to a gave birth to a baby girl in July two thousand nine. She was thirteen child protective services or cps, came to investigate her pregnancy a few times, but Jean says whenever they times, but Jean says whenever they questioned her. Her dad was close by. She was too afraid to say anything It took a year before she got the courage to go to the police.
They immediately called cps and gene and her daughter, Brigitte were placed in a foster home together. I wanted to thank, they say. Ps was actually going to be there for me and do something for me and nineteen Air Texas handles foster care differently than any other state in the country by splitting kids into two categories. One is for temporary care. Those kids will probably go back to their families or Those kids will probably go back to their families or be adopted, the lawyer Especial Advocate and regular. Here in front of a judge. Jean was in a different category called permit. Managing the key or is permanent. As the see girls is permanent, they kids carrying worthier till kids turn or they here till. We turn idea and it was like Cps- didn't want baby in one
make any better for us or they didn't want to make us feel like, we were how these kids don't go back to their families Most of them don't get a lawyer or advocate oftentimes. They bounce between at least five different placements and foster care. In just two years. Gene in Brigitte stayed with three. Foster families. Then they were moved to a short term shelter and after that children's group home with about a dozen other kids, you read those children, I'll send you just cannot believe that they are standing on this fry. After what the group that's Jean stayed, who runs the group and what pushed her she remembers Jean struggles and what pushed her over the edge will never know the was in but while Jean was in foster care, Cps decided to take her daughter, Brigitte away from her.
Of Jean felt, like Cps had failed her. She remembered how her dad had stopped her from reporting him for years. Failed her. She remembered how her dad had stopped her from reporting him for years through manipulation and threats. My dad used to tell me yeah you is go tell either. What's take your daughter from you know, Cps is my father. Take you they would do. Take your daughter from you, her daughter. When Jean lost her daughter, whatever progress, they might have made a Third and deletion knew what deletion knew. What could happen next? You were trying to us and that knew what could happen next. You were trying to know that girls that their amazing in that are strong and they can do anything and I oh that, if we don't do it, then I'm going lose these girls, the street. That's what happened to Jean
a friend told them they can go stay with this woman named Jasmine Jasmine had a place on the other side. Can go stay with this woman named Jasmine Jasmine. Hang out so tonight Jeanne. Stuffed could just hang out so one night Jean stuffed her backpack with her nice thing. In the morning. She got dropped off at school, but she didn't go to class. Instead, She walked down the road to this bus, stop on Waterhouse room. She was clutching a piece of paper with Jasmines address Jeanne took the city bus to different train, She arrived at a duplex with a red door after gathering her courage, she knocked solid, Nebraska, Gangways, Jane, that's jasmine,
act. Solid Nebraska came was Jean that's Jasmine Johnson. I got the chance shut up later that day. She was a foster kid too Another girl shut up later that day. She was a foster kid too airline economy, as it was as you see, if you can go away. Just airlines, let you stay at regarding each tree Jasmine Street, have fun on Gonzalez Street gene, new book. She died her hair. So no one would recognize her. She got her nails done and she got new clothes, short dresses and high heels, but Jean couldn't stay. A Jasmines house for free she'd have to pay rent sixty dollars a night and jasmine said the girls that state her made their money at Strip Clubs, Oliver Dallas. I asked them today about ease, so I put them into stokoe my girls, a widow without I wish I was on you just came. We learn of my has not made money Jean Didn
have an idea. She was only fifteen. She says Jasmine her she had only one other choice: selling sex for I tell you what happened next, I want to back up for a second, because this might seem crazy but imagine your teenage runaway hundreds of miles from home your hungry, and you need a place to sleep. Then a stranger offers you those things. It sounds like they're trying to help. But they explain you instead and like Jeanne. You end up doing, you'd, never imagined at the state capital Austin lawmakers are starting to pay attention the German, and We have a joint charge, stay representatives even held a hearing about it. Last year
study and evaluate the practice of using recruited into human trafficking, specifically evaluate the scope of the pipeline potential victims from from foster care if you didn't catch, but that will make her said it was the pipeline of potential victims from foster care. In other words, lawmakers wanted to study. Why kids? In the states foster care system and exploited by pimps will start with a testimony to the record and proceed thank you. My name is Angela Goodwin, and I am the director of investigations at top protective services a good when explain to lawmakers that most sex trafficking victims have been sexually abused and a lot of them have had contact with the child welfare system, in other words their kids, like genes, she also said when kids run away their often approached by a pimp. Almost mediately, usually within forty eight hours. So why
is that important to the foster care system, because we now know, through these statistics coming that, when a child runs from arc here, we have to look for them right away immediately. Texas doesn't even come close to finding missing, foster kids that quickly last year it took an average of six weeks to find them and hundreds of foster, kids who ran away weren't found. I ask about this. I mean a six weeks acceptable or what would be acceptable right away is acceptable and then, based on this statistic that I gave you mean when you get past forty eight hours is a very dangerous time. Goodwin told us if, yes as working more aggressively define runaways but the agency couldn't even say how many missing foster kids actually got reported to the proper authorities. Last year,
ingenious case, social workers at her group home did call the police as soon as they realize she was missing that day, but by then she'd even taken in by a pimp, Jasmine Johnson, and I mean Jasmine shading care. She just pretty my shoe you're going to do. And that's what gonna do in order to stay here and Cps Treatin ass. The way they traded eyes thousand whatever I needed to do to stay away Jean quickly I left a routine on Gonzales Street, but she, Jeanne, anymore jobs. Had given her a new name bunny. Day when it started to get dark, she would head out. I'd in her new clothes, slowly, walk through the neighbourhood has some apartments and a basketball court. Toward the Mini Mart on the corner, the street they Gonzalo
she's all five I've off from their back towards the rot and Ninetys, pretty my backing for vaccines, boosting sometimes and if a John stopped his car in the street corner, the transaction happened right. There other times the client drove her back to his place It was a hundred dollars for an hour, then sixty dollars for thirty minutes Jean had sex with a few different men but she got scared. She remembers one guy who brought her back to his apartment. After a few minutes, he was really creeping around. She thought she was in danger. I ended in town, was going to the bathroom and left and won't call you back the house getting out of here. I don't like this and it started getting real scary. For me. Jeanne decided she didn't want to stay a Jasmines house anymore. So now, sixteen years old, she
supper things and went to stay with an ex boyfriend in another part of Dallas. But after a couple of knights, his parents kicked her out. She was walking back to Jasmines place in the dark when a driver pulled up and offered her right. They were just around the corner from Gonzales Street, when police pulled over the driver for not using his turn signal they found gene in the back seat. She told me, what was going on a Jasmines house and she ended up helping them investigate At that point I can very fashionable forty eight thirty five with planet, all the detectives asking to call jasmine who also went by the name J. They wanted help collecting evidence. Well
Are you aware, I haven't done anything. I've jasmines Jeanne might be working with police after she left the house, so she pretended not to know gene but after all, There's later raided, the House jasmine admitted Jean, had stayed there, jasmine, was eventually convicted of trafficking, a minor for sex. As for gene, she was sent back to foster care and almost immediately ran away again then, sent to an institution for troubled foster, kids but she ran away once more job and felt completely isolated. Like now One could understand what she was going through. So she was amazed when we told her children's advocates. Believe there are.
Thousands of other kids with stories like hers. In fact, where's filed a lawsuit on behalf of all twelve thousand kids in long term foster care. They said this system routinely violated children's civil rights and in twenty fifteen, a federal judge agreed girl, judge, Janis Gram, Jack ruled the states foster care system unconstitutional, stating in her gazing opinion. The system is broken and has been for decades and chill an almost uniformly leaf state custody more damage than when they enter the eat, plaintive and that lawsuit has a story a lot like genes. She was a teenage foster kid who ran away my group home and ended up on the street. A pimp found her and sold her for sex. The judge wrote these stories are typical of the foster care system in taxes and she's ordered sweeping reforms. She said the state needs to give long term foster kids a lot more support.
That includes a lawyer and an advocate for each of them. The question is: do Texas lawmakers want to pay morning. Members, finance committee will come to ordered Workplace Colorado. Somehow Nelson here that's Jane Nelson, a republic state senator with the most power over the Texas budget arrested a few months ago, She called in the head of the Texas Child Welfare Agency. For a hearing. His name is Hank Whitman and he asked lawmakers for more than a billion dollars to make improvements. That would increase his budget by more than twenty five percent single out three decades. We keep delay and will never get their point. Out that other states spend more taxes pays group homes up to two hundred and Stay dollars a day to care for troubled kids, California and Florida pay almost twice that
women also wanted more money to hire child abuse investigators, because taxes fails to check on hundreds of kids each day, who may be in immediate danger. We have to stand Funding now senator These children will end up in the criminal justice system and are there I cannot say this strongly enough. We Senator Jane Nelson cut him off. We want to see results. Hear me. We don't have time for eating where this other stuff. We need and those get your agency gets a total of three point: eight billion dollars, Hank Whitman said that's not, I have to do the job for say we pay now, We pay later life I wanted to talk to Senator Jane Nelson, about funding for child welfare and taxes, but He declined my request for an interview, so did Texas, Governor Gregg Abbot, but
Texas attorney general can Paxton did to an interview. If we flew hundreds of miles to meet him at a public event, so send our political reporter Patrick's feedback, great hey. I join in time for us, appreciated Patrick aspects and about the importance of funding foster care in Texas. And what that means for fighting sex trafficking. Worrisome dermatologists don't get to decide policy. What ideas I Force, but over the you know, the legislature gives the authority to do so. I would love her for more to be done with him, trappist funding or just meaning. Just in general, everything I it is devastating to our state or community its them. So sad, certainly the more we can do to save these, especially young women, even better.
Saving these young women is exactly what that, while suit against Texas Foster CARE was meant to do. But after a judge ordered the state to make sweeping reforms, can Paxton fought them. He's too aid and appealed to judges directions. Again and again, he says, as the states top lawyer, he has a responsibility to fight lawsuits. Paxton says it's not his job to fix, foster care. Instead he's focusing on going after criminals, the pimps who exploit kids. Under his leadership taxes has acted more and more. Every year the police on the ground say that approach only goes, so far? But you gonna arrest an awful lot of people to have a deal Oh man, that's detective, Michael Mc Murray he's been sending pimps. Prison for more than a decade and he Don Genes case, but he things kids will continue to be exploited as long as the foster care system remains broken
Murray theory affection. This problem was going today, will put all these teams all these traffickers in prison and war we'll get out and people don't be doing this anymore because only a too afraid to go to prison and analysed the problem but part of that you know finding a place to put the kids treating the queue getting. Mental health services is not there Murray here is not working out to oil. The make Marie theory didn't work out well for gene either after police recovered. Her Jasmines House and she ran away from her foster home again. The state eventually agreed to let her live with her mom, she was done with foster care Jean testified in her pimps trial. Jasmine Johnson was convicted of trafficking, a minor for sex and sent to prison. For five years, but the whole experience may gene
feel even more like a victim where's. He hears the painter where need you to come, testify, ah that's? Why not go involve you? Don't go you're going to jail, ok, whenever he ain't shall so much for the victim dry. Jeanne wishes, she'd gotten help finishing school and finding a job She had no way to support herself Jean had another child, a son, but she also got into drugs. So the last when we saw her. She was in the Lamar County Court House in Paris, Texas. Nina and I went to meet her at her nine. I am hearing. When we get into the court room. We see Jean sitting. On the other side, her head in her hands she's been charged with a show of methamphetamines.
The who only last a couple of minutes. We aren't allowed to record suddenly Jean runs out of the court room, so we follow her. When she sees us, she gives us each a big, long, huh If that's what you, through her tears, Jean tells us she's going to plead guilty to her charges and spend at least six months state jail, whether rehab programme out it's a good where everybody is made away from that babies. She thinks rehab would really help her, but it's where's away genes already lost her daughter. She I want to be away from her son. His birthday is in a couple of days, so she so she can go to jail after that and the prosecutors agree. We walk out of the Paris Texas Courthouse into the
pouring ran all sudden Jeanne runs out into the middle of the street, smiling her arms outstretched. It seems like trying to take advantage of these last moments of freedom does last words. I hate this town. That story from the texts: Tribunes EDGAR, Walter's, enormous teaching genes in general. Couple of months and she's not allowed to make phone calls receive visitors. Yet it turns out a lot of sex trafficking. Victims in Texas can only get the help they need in jail in We come back, we'll go behind prison walls to meet a woman whose helping girls like Jean Peace there lives back together there.
How do I look? That's mixed on reveal considerable investigative reporting, p or eggs from the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex this reveal I'm a legend or deal with the broken foster care system in Texas is not an isolated case. It happens all the time. A federal judge has the clear the system, inhumane and unconstitutional. There aren't enough beds for foster kids, partly because so under funded and that's one reason. Foster care in Texas has become a pipeline to sexual exploitation. Take them
will using her middle name to protect her privacy. Now her story is not appropriate for all the sisters when they became a foster kid at thirteen and spent almost a year at an institution for troubled teens, but no foster family would take her. I've just had been there had finished the programme. Nobody else would accept me I dont want to be any my ran away when I left for school one day, but instead of going to class, she just started walking down the street. Just like Jane did when she ran away. Within minutes, actually made a guy, and he told me I love you. I care for you. Going to be there for you. If you ever need endangers. Let me know
title my house runaway at an have anywhere to go. The guy told me she could stay with him. If she brought him some money over the next three years at least three different men traffic we may for sex every few months. She would go back to foster care, sometimes on our own or police might bring back. Then she ran away again. Only a few months ago, she finally landed in a place. You feel safe starts, believe each forward at all. In our states we want to finish school gay. Smart, I want to go to college. I wanna go to pray Vienna on what you want to know how anesthetic forensic investigations that woman who jumped in its Cathy Griffin, no not the comedian. This Cathy, is an advocate who works with sex trafficking. Victims can be changed, you think Philippe she started talking to the girls about how we have to change. Nobody can make it
change you to sit in the programme and act like you, gonna change for what you gonna want to change gotta come from the outside. That's where the test starts. The chest starts when you walk outside, and MRS Martens LULU Signal. Is a place where she's meant other young women who share her struggles, where men can no longer pray on her when she's found a mentor. There's just one problem that place is the Harris County jail in Houston. Texas needs a future bass at the Texas Tribune picks up the story from here County jail is the third largest in the country. It's got about ten thousand inmates at any given time like a little village right in the centre of downtown You said the fourth floor is where the other women are guess what it was. When I get
or of the jail when he's been behind bars. For almost four months, she shares a room called applied with two dozen other women she sleeps on a metal, bunk bed and whereas an oversized jumpsuit Lenny ended up here, because one day last August, she offered an oral sex in exchange for money. He turned out to be an undercover police officer and he arrested her for prostitution. She was only seventy. In which is the age that people are considered. Adults under Texas criminal LAW, so she went to jail When we piquant colonies pine, you can tell she's the baby of the girl, Several women are surrounding her rating, her hair into this elegant crown on the top of her head, no one
HANS. Kids like Linnaean jail, especially not child advocates, but police and prosecutors, say they. Don't trust the foster care system to protect kids who been traffic, so police look for a way to charge them with something in jail Lynne. I can't run her pimp can't get to her and she eat mentors like happy jeez motivated. I first I wanted to leave the programme because I got this is for me. I don't want to change. When I met me, Cathy changed my whole perspective about the programme. If she could do it, I could do if she could do it. I could do it one reason: Cathy connect so quickly with kids like when is she's been through some of the same stuff. For decades, her life was unstable, ruled by cocaine addiction, I was a theatre major. Then I went on the cold, blooded tour with regimes and aid. Three, where my serious, addiction star because everybody in industry got high, and then, when the lights in the cameras wall gone in the tours. I still Helen
addiction. To be met and fed. So it took me from Beverly Behind the trash Napster, you can find tat is much shots online. She looks disoriented and her closer rumpled. Now more than ten years later, she's always stylish fully dressed wearing super high heels. She still has a scratch your voice. She says it's from smoking. Thousands of dollars, the dope a month for more than two decades paid for mostly by selling sex. I attitude it oxygen. What does that mean? That means, if they didn't have money and they can exchange sexual favors for drugs. Okay, I've done everything from high end escorts, being a kept woman to Prost vision. Rock situation on a thing I didn't do was drip. Eventually Cathy got clean. She was one of the first participants in a drug diversion court in Houston.
Now she runs programmes for women who have been involved in prostitution, they're all different ages, and she comes across foster kids or former foster kids. A lot Thirty one of tat. These programmes is called roadway to freedom. I got to see it and action recently at a women's prison in Dayton Texas. There's about a hundred women singing here and wait jumpsuits when Cathy start speaking, y'all. Look, so everyone just lights up now, my cry all the cradle and colored pencil. Wine is a joke. Women
prison don't have make up. So that's what some of them is to put on eyeliner and eye shadow. Cathy tells me Lot of women in here are sex trafficking victims. All of them were let down by the child welfare system to care system is so he broken just about everybody. In her they went to foster care, his hair, Sexual abuse and they were running away from it Lenape, it's that profile she was adopted at a young age and says her adoptive parents abused her physically and sexually she used to run away from home all the time so later on when she wasn't getting help and foster care. It made sense to her run again, even if- meant selling sex. Instead, Cathy understands that. And she tells Lyonnais does- like you said, sometimes that your choice
You was stolen from you, it that, and I've learned to accept the fact that I want get it. I can't take what, I've been back, but I can only move. I can only move for it. You have stayed Focus From the time that I brought you to the only reason. Very rare. I want you all to know this. Fair, rare for somebody, ASEAN, Is she is to stay as disciplined? There an irony to what Cathy saying right now, because she knows he reason she was able to find Lyonnais and become her mentor is because Lenny he's been locked up in jail for four months. We come into jail is like starting over brand new for you, especially at your age, They are talking when they he's about to get released from jail and
each month because there is no room for them in a foster home. They have to sleep in a hotel or in a case, workers office in one s case problem. Is there isn't a bed available for her dozens of foster kids in Texas based this situation? Each because there is no room for them in a foster home. They have to sleep in a hotel or in a case workers office in monies case, she'll have to sleep in a child welfare office in Houston, the kids who stay there. I'll have to sleep on costs. In this one big room, I can fit maybe twenty at a time, and why would I haven't we are working with what we have I mean I am not turn before I don't know another would put that. That's Angela Goodwin atop official at the Texas Child Welfare Agency. She says the state can create more beds for foster kids that's up to the private sector. Things are even worse for kids, who ve been sexually exploited,
with a very limited number of specialised beds for human trafficking victims. We have about twenty available north of Houston and political freedom place. We have about six The state wouldn't tell me how many foster kids run away when their living in an office, but I asked the Houston Police Department in just two months. Get supervised like they would at a real foster home. So it's you for them to run away the state wouldn't ah me how many foster kids run away when their living in an office, but I asked the Houston Police Department in just two months, Please say dozens of kids ran away from the office will enable be staying. Cathy tells Lenape she hoped she won't run. What's gonna keep you from running from this facility support. I have always had my case every support, but issues like I want it, I just felt like you and me. I think some is carefully. I think I was missing,
These worried that once when I get out of jail, she won't be over a reach, her social no way of knowing if Lenny Safe later, she tells me, there's gotta be a place where Lenny can get help that isn't jail. This is the best place for you to reach them, but it's also place further locked up, but what is more important than any of this is we have got to have beds, or individuals that are coming out so that we can continue. Here. The process and keep things warnings mostly because it took a long time to get messed up. We must have beds that aren't There aren't enjoy a few months later. I go
see Cathy again she's a busy woman, so the best way to catch up with her is when she's heading out of one of our programmes at the prisoner, the jail or in a parking lot. When Cathy gets a phone call, it's from another young girl, she's, trying to help by can and seeing her not to run away to stay. Put, will eat you alive. You feel me and just keep me informed so I'll be able to still keep up with you and help you all right. Precious stop running so much. Ok, these deals. American love on you for a while ago, Cappy hang the phone and closes arise for a second. They would give me some mad at me, work miracles. Even with everything Cathy does to help these young women there's a lot of forces working against them when they had proved. Kathy should call her once she left jail and got to that child welfare office, but when they never called
Instead, she walked out of the office just a few hours after she got. There are hungry telling her legs. You knows you're, one of the more focus peace all, despite being so young you're, one of the more focused people in jail- and I worked where I felt that way. That's why I was just such Obama when she just wrong as the one I so young and I came put a man, whereas the rest of the girls are they followed your crack? That's the fees and need to fix yeah. I'm done. Do me any good LISA Plan C, but if they lead to combat right, you know when I turned eighteen last December, just a few. After she walked out of that office. She still missing and her facebook page suggests she still being trafficked, but Cathy isn't giving up hope she's planning to open a shelter for girls just like Lyonnais that can get them help outside of jail it'll be called
these house. Let's do it was produced by reveals news deja based at the Texas tribute, since a version of the story was first published. State law makers have given the Texas Child Welfare ABC an extra five hundred million dollars, that's about half of what they ask for. They also created a three million dollar grid programme to give child sex trafficking victims. Services, like health care in council, is the first time These funded a programme like this in Texas, jail was the only place led could find the help she needed The states like Minnesota are doing everything they can to keep sex traffic kids out of jail by looking at them as victims, not criminals that part of the story when we come back on reveal from the centre for investigate reporting and p r exe.
From the centre for investigating reporting. In p r eggs, this is review a mallet, tough subject. Today, sex traffickers have been known to trap, exploit children one child is in. It is extremely hard to get them out of that life. Many of these kids are runaways who been bounced around from foster care group homes in state custody, some end up in drug rehab and mental health treatment, centers and all- behind bars. This is something our partners at eight p M reports looked into. They found that some stay including Minnesota, are taking a different approach. Those states are treating these young people as victims instead of criminals. Please take the cars. I saw that I have a record of us talking today. Came the searching glance. Nighter he's interviewing a seventeen year old runaway Just go back and tell me the story about from because running from all Clare. Tell me what happened
July, for during the interview, room and Minneapolis Police station small space with no windows size of walking closet the sitting at a small round table market, working Bobby Joe Larsen ran away from drug treatment centres. In O clear was content and by the time Snyder founder she was selling sex. She was posting escort ads on the web and work the guy she calls E. When did you start coastline? Is here with me? like the next day. I met him a couple of days, stoner something I've never really were jolly, so he told
you never done before. He saw me he right back around my browser to Albert. He told me a lot of other player, so transport or sexual she's been for a long time. We understand Bobby, has slipped she's high on four different drugs and has beaten in days. She does not one hears legislator trash taught the guy she was with Firstly, the new nothing they I understand there was something, although they about how much you listen to me, k any guy. It allows a young lady like yourself to be victimized like that to do degrading things, that that speaks of their character. You understand I write, you know what I'm saying is true now, just because you said when you with these guys. That makes you feel tat you Like I told you, hundreds went over the years and all the icy three things to me Kay em. All
Let us because of the money I wish I could do anything else, but they can't because the minds of all- and we see how many of those things on earth tat your trio exactly after that interview Bobby said to group on two hours, north of the twin cities almost immediately. She runs this time she incident hands of even more dangerous men. They put an ad for Bobby on back pitch and online hub for commercial sex, sordid, Snyder fines or two weeks later and she's back in the interview room. You know what it's dangerous. You got rage the time you gonna tempered against your head, and you know that, because you ve mammals, her right hand, people at your friends, because this before We are your friends. Do you know right your gate with me, because unless you questions, then I saw you like you. We
we keep looking for you, we read about Kay search, Snyder Knuckle charge body with a groan. Places around the country it still for girls who sell sex to face delinquency hearings, but Snyder doesn't want to punish Bobby. So I argue that our primary objective has to be that victim and that are that were the tool for that victim, not directive, being a tool for us to meet our aims. The victim he's talking about is Bobby. When grants later became a cop twenty years ago. He didn't think prostitution was a victim of a crime. The victim was the public homeowner city, but he kept winding up a net interview room with women and girls who had awful story to tell and he began to think there was another victims, even if the girls themselves didn't think so.
Making sure now, survivors who have come out of the life and have come out of the history of trauma. Exploitation have been very patient in helping me to understand exactly what things look like through their eyes when he met Bobby, she was traumatize and afraid of the police, this more the recording of First time went sergeant, Snyder brought back to the station you re, whose situation like all you're you're victim. For me, ok, you're victim! so I lay mistreating you Bobby says she had a bad experience with the police before meeting Sergeant Snyder, and I made it hard for her trust, a cop. She talked about that in an inner last year, the author's kind through me up against the wall and cap like slamming my head into the Wall I drew the line and I was late. I'm not going to trust any police officer by even if you do where Badge
you have no right to treat summer night ban the first time Snyder COD Bobby It didn't seem like she was listening, but a turn. She was the number one thing that I will always remember is him saying from this day on, you will be protected, slighted COD Bobby five times before she stopped running away back to people who would explode. All over again, I don't know if it was cause. I saw Brainwash that I was finally ok with it after first Few times I was like this How am I gonna do living in my life for the rest of my life and I'm ok. So I remain think twice about them, but eventually sergeant grant reach Bobby. His message got through stop running and she got treatment for drug addicts. You, ve learned not to trust anyone on the street saw an officer or account, sir. Anyone can expect that
that's right away. That's gonna come with time. Sergeant ladder put in the time and was eventually able to gain box trusts and Bobby is grateful to the cup wouldn't give up his heart was so bag, and at that point in my life, that's all I needed and that's all I was looking far from day. One is love and a big heart, and I saw that with him. So honestly, I don't know why I opened up, but I did so do Steiner uses what he's learn to help others, fight sex trafficking, trains, law enforcement in attorneys around the country and is a frequent speaker at events like this one at a super. High school victims are incredibly resourceful and Bobby Larsson ran away from all Clare Academy, with a period of one hour. She ran away and Orange jumpsuit that's settled. Academy on the back of it within one hour she met a woman gave her money, so she could buy clothes. She got a phone from somebody got on a chat line met again,
I should never talk to you before and convince him to drive from Saint Paul to Eau Claire, to pick her friend up and drive back to Minneapolis. I can't even get my kid to put the dirty dishes in the sink. Okay. A cop watched all that in an hour when we checked him with Bobby Joe Larsen last year, she'd been out of prostitution in drug free for round two years. She done a lot of thinking about what it made her so vulnerable to being trafficked. Partly it was ass. She went to get high and because you want to get out of group, I was in treatment centres, but she won something else too. In a way, I felt really beautiful bat alleys. These are paying too? You know get services from me or the pimps. I thought at the time they loved me So even though I had I've always had a really good, loving family, I was adopt began a young age, so that was something I also struggled with like. Why did the
My parents gave up on me in not love me. My biological parents in it seem like my in order the family. It wasn't enough pimps prey on these insecurities sharing their victims with phony love. He attention, along with the grip of drug addiction, led Bobby back to Eve. The terms whose real name is project crochet, Robinson, eventually plead guilty to promoting prostitution, There's a row. Reticence to play Blame where that blame really should lie, and its view very visible in human trafficking, because many of the victims that we deal with make bad choices and simply because you're a thirteen year old who ran away from home doesn't mean, in that you should be victimized. Somebody doesn't mean you should have gone back page doesn't mean you should end up in a hot a rumour on Lake Street or something where people can exploit you commercially?
other folks in government and law enforcement around the country are begin to see things the same way as sergeant Snyder. More than a dozen states have stopped charging minors with prostitution bobbio Joe now, twenty two years old Leslie heard she and her fiance were living in an apartment above mainstreamed in applied southern Minnesota town. We want to think Bobby fish and her story. She hopes it will help others The original version of Bobby Joe Larsen story was produced by such as lenient and edited by Captain Winter Valium reports. Those updated by reveals Michael Schiller Mean, as a teacher was our lead producer today, show with help from EDGAR Walter's and Morgan Smith. Their based at the Texas trip are editor was talk you telling me this are sound design team is the want of twigs Mama, J, Breezy, Jim breaks and clear, see no mother with help from
Ray Mondo. I had a studios crystal sharper. Amy piles are editor in chief Susan Rivers, our executive editor and our executive producer is Kevin. Solving our theme, music has become a rattle like support for reveals. By the Weaver and David Logan Foundation for foundations, the John D, Catherine teamwork rather Foundation, the genus and James L might foundation the Heising Simons found. Nation and the ethics and exploits in journalism. Foundation review is a co productions. Therefore, investigative reporting and p r x amount lesson and remember. There is always more to the store. These are last few shows of the year and let me tell you in twenty twenty we are bringing the fire launching some of our most ambitious projects we ve ever done. I can wait for you to hear them reveal, is all about going deep, pulling on threads
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-21.