The recent arrest and death of the supposed billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has renewed the spotlight on a dark and unpleasant secret that communities do not wish to discuss, unless its about communities other than their own.

This is the underground, illegal and illicit sex trade that is currently ongoing in our communities across the country, even those no one wants to admit.

The demand for illegal sex, especially with minors, has never been as high in the United States as it is now, according to several sources.

Though many of us believe the behavior is confined to tourist traps like Las Vegas, the statistics reflect that the illegal practice is well beyond the casino hotels of Nevada.

There are a number of protection points that can be initiated by all of us to help protect young children.  There are a number of resources online that provide insight, help lines and information to help combat this difficult issue.  Most states have a telephone hotline for those who suspect illegal trafficking.  National Human Trafficking has a 24/7 nationwide hotline at:  888-373-7888.

First, be vigilant and leave your ignorance at the door when you are traveling, or frequenting any type of place such as a hotel, gas station or even a fair.  Reports of trafficking have come out of places like Cheyenne’s Frontier Days.

Young girls who are dressed outside of instinctual norms, the same individual seen at these various gatherings with no real appearance that they “belong” and demeanor that seems unusual for the occasion (i.e. detached and emotionless).  Don’t hesitate to approach the minor and ask them if they need help.  And go with your gut and instincts, not necessarily what you are being told.  When in doubt, always call the police and give them a chance to investigate.

Together we can help bring this practice to a slow and hopefully to a stop.  And if you know anyone who pays for sex, convince them to stop and to stop immediately.  Without any demand, the illicit service will evaporate.

Stay tuned for our next blog, which will detail the emerging liability that is fast building against hotels, gas stations and other such businesses that are choosing to turn a blind eye towards this illegal practice.