"KIDNAPPED COUSINS," A STORY OF DOMESTIC SEX TRAFFICKING IN THE U.S., ON ABC NEWS' "PRIMETIME: CRIME," WEDNESDAY, JULY 16 ON ABC
The FBI estimates that currently there are 100,000 minors in America being forced to trade sex for money. But while the notion of young American girls being forced into sexual slavery may be difficult to fathom, this week Cynthia McFadden takes a very real and rare look inside the underground and disturbing world of domestic trafficking of children -- American girls being lured or even kidnapped into sexual slavery by predatory pimps. She reports on the story of two middle-American teenaged cousins on their way to buy milkshakes a few blocks from home, who end up kidnapped right off of a main street in Toledo, Ohio. Soon they're imprisoned in a house a few miles away, entering a dark world no child should ever have to know about. "Primetime: Crime," which investigates crime by going deep inside real cases, uncovering new evidence and getting exclusive witnesses interviews, airs WEDNESDAY, JULY 16 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.
From the terrifying abduction and the harsh training that followed to their indoctrination and forced prostitution, the two victims speak candidly with McFadden, giving viewers an eye-opening and emotional recount of the entire experience. After being forced to work in local motels, the girls are then transported, like human cargo, to an out-of-state truck stop, where they're expected to have sex for money with truckers. Eventually one of the cousins is dramatically rescued, setting off a desperate search to rescue the other. The program obtained access to additional exclusive interviews, frantic 911 calls and interrogation videos, and "Primetime" documents a truckstop sting operation in order to bring viewers inside the unimaginable world of domestic sex trafficking. Viewers will see how these loose networks of pimps and prostitutes operate from residential communities to the nation's highways, and how local police were at first unable to save one of the cousins.
"Primetime" has spent over four years investigating domestic sex trafficking, a problem hidden in plain sight that touches every community in every corner of the nation. The FBI's five-year "Innocence Lost Initiative" has led to the conviction of 308 individuals on a combination of state and federal charges, and led to the recovery of 433 child victims, but it's still difficult for most Americans to believe their children are at risk. "There are children throughout the United States that are being sold as prostitutes," says FBI special agent Mike Beaver. "It's not uncommon to see 12 and 13 year-olds out. What we've learned is, if you have adult prostitution in an area, there's probably child prostitution occurring as well. So it's more of a black market, it's more underground, but it's there."
David Sloan is the executive producer.