CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- This week the FBI arrested 281 people on child sex trafficking charges and recovered over 168 children from cities all across the country.
Three of the suspected pimps were arrested in the Charlotte area.
Beth Moore is a forensic interviewer who specializes in child sex abuse victims. She is also the executive director of Prevent Child Abuse of Rowan County.
At the county’s Terrie Hess House, a child advocacy center, Moore has interviewed children who had been trafficked and sexually abused.
“A lot of times it is a situation where they didn’t know what they were getting into. They thought they knew a person,” she said, adding that by the time the child realized what was really going on, it was tough or nearly impossible to get out.
Moore said the Charlotte area now ranks sixth in the nation for calls to investigators reporting sex trafficking.
Part of the reason she says is location, with major highways including I-77 and I-85, along with access to a major airport and the proximity to Atlanta, which ranks number one for calls
“I think it absolutely is a rising issue. There are estimated in North Carolina, over 1700 girls that are trafficked each year, and it is certainly happening with boys as well,” said Moore.