Category Archives: Indifference

SOLD FOR DRUGS, WOMAN DOES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO HELP TRAFFICKING VICTIMS

.jpg photo of Tonya Stafford and the neighbor who helped her break free from abuser.
Tonya Stafford and the neighbor who helped her break free from her abuser.

Her mother sold her for drugs when she was 14. Now, she spends her life rescuing fellow trafficking victims

DALLAS, TX  –  It took Tonya Stafford years to return to Bradshaw Street in southern Dallas.

When she finally did, about eight years ago, she felt afraid.

“It was a lot of emotions that came back,” she said.  “Because I thought of everything that had happened.”

Stafford lived in two separate houses on this street  –  although “lived” is a generous term.

She survived.  That’s a better way to put it.

Located just feet apart, those Bradshaw Street houses are the first and second homes Stafford lived in with the man who purchased her from her mother when she was 14 years old.  They’re the first two homes in which she was held captive, raped and abused for years.

“I was sold from the projects… the Turner Courts Projects,” Stafford said.

She’d been living their with her siblings, her mother and her mother’s husband.  Stafford’s mother had been in an out of their lives, while living with addiction.  She regained custody of Stafford and her siblings when Stafford was eight years old.  Up until then, they’d been living with their grandmother.

“It wasn’t something that was hidden from us,” Stafford said of her mother’s troubles. “Big Momma always just told us to respect her.  If we saw her walking down the street in South Dallas, we respected our mom.”

Stafford said her mother had started to do better when she regained custody, but the man she married was an addict and abusive.

“He immediately started raping us and molesting us,” Stafford said.  “So, that’s how our life took a turn for the worse.”

When Stafford and her siblings told her mother about the abuse, she said her mother’s husband claimed the children were trying to break them up.  She believed him.

Stafford said the family was also homeless for months at a time and bounced from hotel to hotel.

“He would get a room for them and a room for us,” Stafford said.  “Then he would get a room to take us into.”

Even then, Stafford still had hope.

“I wasn’t pregnant,” she said.  “I was an A student.  I was really smart.  My mentality was to make it out and never come back.”

Eventually, her family ended up at the Turner Courts housing project in southern Dallas, where Stafford said she and her siblings were allowed to freely come and go as they pleased, as long as they were home by dark.

She said she remembered she’d hang out with a neighbor, a women in her early 20s who was married and had kids.  Around that time, Stafford also remembered, she started noticing the man who’d become her abuser hanging around the neighborhood.

“I remember seeing him but not really paying attention cause I was playing with [my neighbor’s’] kids,” Stafford said.  “I didn’t know he had already started inquiring about us. Who was I?  ‘Who’s her momma?  What does that look like?’  They told him, ‘Her mom’s on drugs, and they don’t really care about them.’  He found his prey.  I was his prey.”

One night, when she was 13, Stafford said she was at her neighbor’s house, drinking what she thought was soda.  The man was there too.  Once she’d had a bit of what she later realized were wine coolers, she said she didn’t feel good.  She remembered the man telling her she couldn’t go home drunk.

She said he raped her that night.

“I got up,  I put my clothes on,  I went back to our apartment,” Stafford said.  “I didn’t say anything.”

A few weeks later, Stafford started feeling sick  –  and quickly realized she was pregnant.

“My daughter was born in 1988 in Mesquite Community Hospital,” she said.

Stafford was 14.  The father of her new baby was more than 10 years older.

Court documents provided to WFAA showed that Tonya was interviewed by a case worker who was investigating her mother and stepfather for child abuse involving another sibling.  The report detailed that Tonya was pregnant and that the father of her child was substantially older than she was.  The case worker noted that she asked Tonya if her mother had anything to do with what she referred to as her “relationship” with an older man, but never probed into any questions about abuse or the situation being troublesome.

“I knew then that we weren’t going to be saved,” Stafford said.

A few months after her daughter was born, Stafford said she was playing outside with other kids and had come back in to her house for some water when she noticed her belongings and her baby’s things had been packed up and placed by the door.

“She [her mother] said, ‘You got to go,'” Stafford said.  “I asked why: ‘Did I do something wrong?  Did I not clean up good enough?  What did I do?’  She just said again,  ‘You got to go.’  She pointed outside, and I saw his car waiting.  So, I took a deep breath, and I got in the car.”

Stafford said she went to live with with her abuser in his grandmother’s house  –  one of the homes on Bradshaw Street  –  where she was repeatedly raped and beaten.  After a year, she said they moved a few houses down on the same street.  A couple of years later, they moved to Pleasant Grove.

Stafford said she’d continuously tried calling her mother during this time, but never got an answer.  Eventually, she learned that her mother had changed phone numbers.  While she lived on Bradshaw Street, Stafford was just a few blocks from her family and the school she would have attended had she been able to leave the house.

“I really only left to go to church,” Stafford said.

She said her abuser took her to church every Sunday and Wednesday.

“I remember telling someone he was raping me, and they told me not to say that,” Stafford said.  “The first lady told me I should be glad someone bought me.”

Stafford said she lived with her abuser for 10 years.  During that stretch, she gave birth to two more children of his children.  She said no one at any of the hospitals ever questioned their situation.

“I don’t think they wanted to get involved,” Stafford said.

She was 24 when her life changed.  She has her neighbor to thank for that.

“She was the nosey neighbor,” Stafford said.  “She’d seen something.  She said something. And she did something.”

Stafford said her neighbor had noticed abuse in the home, and had spoken to her about it.
“Our cue was, if it gets bad, throw something out the window  –  or just come out and she’ll call the police,” Stafford said.

On the day she was rescued, Stafford said the abuse was particularly bad.

“He was angry,” Stafford said of her abuser.  “He was angry.  He just kept saying, I’m going to kill you.'”

Stafford said she’d gone to the bathroom, flushed the toilet and threw some things out of the window.  She said she tried to climb out of the window, too, but her abuser heard her, kicked down to the door, pulled her back into the house and threw her into the hallway.
“I asked him if I could go put my kids up, and I could come back and he could kill me,” Stafford said. “He said no, and he started choking me unconscious.  And that’s all I remembered.  I woke up.  My neighbor was kneeling next to me, and she was crying.”

Stafford said her neighbor heard the commotion and called the police.  By the time officers arrived, her abuser had run away.  Stafford and her children were taken to a shelter for domestic violence survivors in Irving.

“I got to be safe, and then I started therapy,” Stafford said.  “I love therapy.”

She still goes to therapy every Tuesday.

“It’s the first time I couldn’t lie,” Stafford said.  “I had to be honest about everything.   My kids got therapy too.  I think that’s ultimately what saved me.  I had never just been around a bunch of women.”

These women affirmed Stafford’s beauty, value and purpose.

When she finally was able to take her attacker to court,  Stafford said the judge apologized to her for a healthcare system and an education system that “failed” her.

“Then he said, “And I’m sorry, I have to fail you too,'” Stafford said.  “The statute of limitations had been reached.”

She was able to get a protection order  –  one that’s still in place  –  because of the domestic violence, but her attacker was never charged for the sexual abuse.  In fact, he was granted visitation with her children.

Stafford’s story is a hard one to hear, but it laid the foundation for the life-saving work she does now.

In 2014, Stafford started It’s Going to Be Okay Inc, an organization that helps rescue, house and heal survivors of human trafficking.  She now operates four safe houses for survivors across Dallas-Fort Worth.

“We’re providing direct services to human trafficking victims of all races and colors, but particularly Black girls,” Stafford said.

These are girls, Stafford said, that often go missing without extensive media coverage or resources devoted to finding them.

They’re girls like her.

Her story, Stafford said, is not entirely the same as the cases she deals with now.  But the foundations of trauma and abuse are the same.

“When you’re dealing with past trauma, it effects your post-trauma,” Stafford said.  “It’s how [these girls] are so susceptible to trafficking.  It’s the cycle of trauma, the generational trauma.”

Stafford’s work has been recognized around the country.  She works with local, state and federal law enforcement to help rescue trafficking victims and offer services to help them rebuild their lives.

She was recently recognized by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for her efforts, and even received an honorary doctorate for her work.

“When I come across girls who look like me  –  the forgotten girls  –  and they say, ‘Ms. Tonya, thank you for coming, and thank you for providing what probably wouldn’t have been provided,’ that is my why,” Stafford said.

So, now, when Stafford finds herself on Bradshaw Street, she sees survival.

“I survived for them,” she said.  “I survived for me.  I survived for my children.  And not only am I surviving, I’m thriving.”

Discovery Of Falsified Reports Alarmed CO State Officials

.jpg photo of CPS graphic
Stop CPS Corruption and Anti-Family Agenda.

Moffat County caseworker accused of fabricating child abuse, neglect investigations has been charged with forgery

A Moffat County caseworker accused of fabricating reports to make it seem as if she checked on children who were the subject of abuse and neglect claims is now facing charges of forgery and abuse of public records.

Hester Renee Nelms, 43, was under investigation for more than a year by the district attorney’s office in Moffat County, where a crew of 15 caseworkers from across Colorado set up operations in 2020 to re-investigate more than 80 reports of child abuse and neglect.  Numerous families, including some who spoke to The Colorado Sun, said that no caseworker ever came to check on their children — despite detailed reports in the state’s child welfare database that those visits had occurred.

An arrest warrant in the case, released this week after a request from The Sun, describes how Nelms’ notes regarding several children were made up and inaccurate.  Investigators discovered that in multiple cases, she had never visited homes or interviewed kids and parents, despite writing in detail about the contents of their bedrooms or family members’ jobs and medical conditions.

Investigators found at least 50 cases containing falsified details, including many in which Nelms never made contact with the children or parents.  They included entries into the state child welfare database about people that do not exist, and false documentation regarding the “death of parents, false medical issues, fictitious supports and/or employment,” according to the arrest warrant.

In one 2019 case, Nelms wrote that a mother had cervical cancer and wanted to spend as much time as she could with her four children, including a 5-month-old baby.  Her report described a house fire the family had endured and said the mother was in nursing school. Neither detail was true, nor did the mother ever have cancer, investigators found.  Also, there was no baby in the family.

In another case, Nelms wrote that the mother of the child who was the subject of a sexual abuse report worked as a cook and that her daughter had a boyfriend.  But in reality, the daughter is gay and the mother worked at an auto lube shop, according to the investigator.

No children were found to have been injured or killed because of the shoddy casework, according to records previously released by the state to The Sun under open records laws.

State child welfare officials in 2019 notified Moffat County’s child welfare division that it was behind on meeting requirements for abuse and neglect assessments, which counties are supposed to complete within 60 days.  The county hired a former child protection caseworker to perform an audit, which found that of the 120 abuse and neglect cases that were open, 90% of them were assigned to Nelms, according to the arrest warrant.

Annette Norton, then the head of Moffat County Department of Human Services, allowed Nelms to focus solely on closing the 120 cases.  Yet, after a month, Nelms had finished work on just 13 of the open cases, so Norton fired her, according to court documents.

The caseworker who took on Nelms’ workload soon discovered inaccuracies — and complete untruths — in the reports.  In the first case the new caseworker looked into, in which a little girl’s bedroom decor was described in Nelms’ report, the worker, Markie Green, found that Nelms had never actually been to the child’s home.

“The mother looks at Ms. Green and asked her what contact and by what caseworker,” the investigator wrote. “The mother explained there was no contact and no interview.”
The auditor then pulled more of Nelms’ case files, choosing at random, and she and Green made similar discoveries.  This led to intervention by the state child welfare division, which rounded up 15 caseworkers from various counties to re-examine every case that Nelms worked.  The team discovered a pattern of fraudulent paperwork that stretched over two years.

Nelms did not respond to a request for comment for this story, but in an interview with the investigator, she said she was overwhelmed and overburdened with work in Moffat County and did not receive adequate training.  She quit the job once, but returned at the urging of her boss.  Nelms, who has since moved to the Denver area, said she was “getting further and further behind and the cases were piling up.”  At the time, the department was only 48% staffed.

She did not admit to fabricating documentation, but said she relied on her memory when she entered reports into the statewide database and sometimes mixed up families.  Nelms told the investigator she was working “at an extremely fast pace” and couldn’t “remember a lot of the faces of her clients because of how fast the cases were coming in.”

Nelms was charged with felony forgery and misdemeanor abuse of public records.
The Sun asked the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office about the status of its investigation into Nelms’ caseload eight times over the past year and a half.  The office’s spokeswoman, Leslie Hockaday, recently emailed a news release to The Sun, dated March 22, noting that an arrest warrant had been issued for Nelms on Nov. 29.  She has not been taken into custody.  A judge set a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

County officials also have been quiet about the investigation that rattled many citizens and child advocates in Craig.  Norton, who abruptly left the county’s human services department at the start of the investigation, previously told The Sun the child welfare scandal was a “personnel matter” and refused to discuss it.

A statewide performance-monitoring system, which scores county child welfare divisions on how well they respond to suspected cases of abuse or neglect and whether they make face-to-face contact with suspected victims within required timeframes, alerted state officials in 2019 that Moffat County was slipping.

Around the same time, Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman Stephanie Villafuerte’s office received three separate reports from citizens in Moffat County who said local caseworkers had failed to check on children.

TX Attorney General’s Office Assisted U.S. Marshals Roundup Of 38 Violent Fugitives

.jpg photo of TX Attorney General LogoOperation ‘Wash Out’ Results in 38 Arrested for Gang-Related Offenses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2021

AUSTIN, TX  –  The Office of the Attorney General assisted in an operation that resulted in the arrest of 38 fugitives wanted for gang-related offenses.

In Bexar County, the Austin Fugitive Apprehension Unit assisted the United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force’s warrant initiative, named Operation Wash Out, from September 20-27.

These efforts focused on members of the most violent gangs in the greater San Antonio metropolitan area. As a result of this warrant initiative, the following were arrested – including one of Texas’s Top 10 Most Wanted:

  • Moses Calderon – Parole Violation for Murder with a Deadly Weapon and Assault Bodily Injury.  Member of Hermanos Pistoleros Gang.  Texas Top 10 Most Wanted.
  • Steven Acevedo – Assault Family Violence. Member of Tango Orejon Gang.
  • Samantha Acosta –Possession of Controlled Substance.
  • John Anthony Arroyo – Probation Violation for Smuggling Aliens and Stolen Vehicle.
  • Ruben Benavides – Parole Violation for Aggravated Assault Against Public Servant and 2 counts of Assault Bodily Injury.  Member of Klik Gang.
  • Nicholas Blanco – Racketeering and Murder.
  • Ricky Ohara Coleman – Parole Violation for Assault Bodily Injury Family Violence. Member of Wheatley Court Gang.
  • Jonathan Duque – Assault Family Violence.
  • Brenna Farley – 2 counts of Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon.
  • Rogelio Gloria Flores – Probation Violation for Manufacturing/Delivery of Cocaine. Mexican Mafia Gang Member.
  • Arturo Garza, Jr. – Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon. Member of Texas Mexican Mafia Gang.
  • Ceasar Andrew Gomez – Probation Violation for Amphetamine Possession. Texas Syndicate Gang Member.
  • Adrian Michael Gonzales – Assault Family Violence Strangulation.
  • Monte Joseph Govan – Parole Violation for Aggravated Robbery, Unlawful Restraint and Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon.
  • Lane Everett Grinage – Felon in Possession of Firearm.
  • David Anthony Hernandez – Probation Violation for Dangerous Drugs and Probation Violation for Smuggling.
  • Larry Guerrero Hernandez – Parole Violation for Unauthorized Use of Vehicle and Assault Bodily Injury. Member of Mexican Mafia Gang.
  • Linda Flor Ibarra – Aggravated Robbery.
  • Rolando Lopez – Probation Violation for Smuggling Aliens. Taiza Gang Member.
  • Rene Arnold Martinez – Tampering with Evidence and Assault Family Violence. Member of Texas Mexican Mafia Gang.
  • Rafael Resendez – Possession of Controlled Substance.
  • Nathaniel Xavier Ramirez – Probation Revocation for Evading Arrest and Detention with Vehicle.  Member of West Side Varrios Gang.
  • Humberto Ramos – Possession of Dangerous Drugs.  Member of Hermanos Pistoleros Gang.
  • Michael Roberson – Parole Violation for Possession with Intent to Deliver and Failure to Appear regarding a 2nd DWI.  Member of the Bloods Gang.
  • Ruben Rocha – Assault Public Servant.
  • Marc Andrew Rodriguez – Assault Family Violence.  Member of Tango Orejon Gang.
  • Guzman Carrizales Sambrano – Parole Violation for Homicide and Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penal Institution.
  • Jeremiah Sambrano – Failure to Appear Assault and Escape from Custody.
  • Spurgeon Williams – Probation Violation for Cocaine.  Member of East Terrace Crips Gang.
  • Matthew Alexander Woosley – Felon in Possession of Firearm.  Member of Tango Orejon Gang.
  • Tyson William Yetts – Parole Violation for Assault Family Member.
  • David Zepeda – Parole Violation for Murder.  Member of Mexican Mafia Gang.

Unconstitutional And Illegal Vaccine Mandate

.jpg photo of american family association logoThere is no American monarchy

Abraham Hamilton III has written an excellent article regarding President Biden’s unconstitutional and illegal vaccine mandate.  It clearly outlines why American is not a monarchy and will not abide a dictatorship.

I strongly encourage you to read Abraham’s article below.

Abraham Hamilton III is general counsel for American Family Association and host of the daily radio program “The Hamilton Corner” on American Family Radio.

Sincerely,
Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association

THERE IS NO AMERICAN MONARCHY

On September 8, 2021, Politico published an article titled “The Surprisingly Strong Supreme Court Precedent Supporting Vaccine Mandates.”  In it, the author works feverishly to project the argument that the 1905 United States Supreme Court decision against Lutheran minister Henning Jacobson and in favor of the state of Massachusetts’ compulsory vaccination mandate (concerning smallpox) provides the legal footing necessary to uphold…wait for it…a U.S. governmental COVID-19 injection mandate.

Then, almost on cue, on September 9, 2021, the J. Robinette B. Administration announced “Sweeping New Vaccine Mandates for 100 million Americans.”  Gasp!  How was Politico so prescient?  They just so happened to release their article on vaccine mandates the day before Mr. Biden announced an injection mandate.  They weren’t trying to lay the social groundwork for the White House’s executive action, were they?

We do not yet have the formal publication of the executive action.  However, according to reports (including the AP News story cited above), the federal action mandates “that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly.”  This will affect about 80 million Americans.  And,

“The roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.”

The mandate also requires “vaccination for executive branch employees and contractors who do business with the federal government—with no option to test out.”  This includes several million more workers.  Finally,

“The requirement for large companies to mandate vaccinations or weekly testing for employees will be enacted through a forthcoming rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that carries penalties of $14,000 per violation.”

In the midst of all of this, AP News reported,

“Biden’s order for executive branch workers and contractors includes exceptions for workers seeking religious or medical exemptions from vaccination, according to press secretary Jen Psaki” (in the link cited above).

Yet, in addition to this newly announced intrusion upon the private employment sector, separately,

“[T]he Department of Health and Human Services will require vaccinations in Head Start Programs, as well as schools run by the Department of Defense and Bureau of Indian Education, affecting about 300,000 employees.”

Having said all of that, every ounce of this proposed executive action is illegal and unconstitutional.  The United States of America is a constitutional republic with representative democratic features.  Our Constitution separates power within the federal government.  In our federal executive branch, we have a president.  Not a king!  In our republican form of government, as expressed in Article IV, Section 4 of our U.S. Constitution, we enjoy the benefit of separate sovereignty.  The bulk of emergency power in our nation rests in state governmentNot in the U.S. executive branch.  A president’s role and powers are different than those charged with state governance. Article 2 of our U.S. Constitution sets the parameter, the limits, for executive power. Nowhere in it will you find any authority whatsoever for the J. Robinette B. Administration to compel private companies to force their staffs to inject their bodies with anything or to test them.  Period.

Interestingly, when you read the Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) opinion Politico cited, you find that the opinion doesn’t support the unconstitutional authoritarian overreach proposed by the White House.  In Jacobson, the Court ruled that it is within the police power of a State to enact a compulsory vaccination law.  And it is for the legislature, and not for the courts, to determine in the first instance whether vaccination is or is not the best mode for the prevention of smallpox and the protection of the public health.  “The State” in Jacobson was the state of Massachusetts.  “The legislature” was the Massachusetts state legislature.  The federal executive branch has no legal authority to do this.  The opinion Politico tried to pass off as legal authority for a national injection mandate is clearly distinguishable from and cuts directly against what the Biden administration is trying to force on the American people.

More specifically, they seek to shove it into our bodies without our consent.  OSHA has no more authority to do this than did the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue an eviction moratorium.  This is why the U.S. Supreme Court struck that down too.  Which, Mr. Biden knew but sought to expand anyway, even after the Court rebuked him.  That should give you an indication of his respect, or lack thereof, for the rule of law.

We should also mention Mr. Biden’s injection mandate does not comport with the science presented in the Jacobson case.  The Jacobson Court observed that the vaccination against smallpox at issue in 1905 was promulgated to “prevent the spread of smallpox.” (Jacobson p. 31).  Many well-intentioned people may hope that currently available injections help “slow the spread” of SARS-CoV-2.  But, no one today, at least not anymore, attempts to credibly assert that the various injections prevent infection with or the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.  I recently had Dr. Christina Parks on my radio program to discuss this very thing.  You can find that program here.

She earned her Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Michigan. She did her graduate research in the field of cytokine signaling.  Cytokines are the chemicals the immune system uses to communicate.  During the interview, Dr. Parks referred to a study that indicated that all of the proposed injections were designed for the initial strand of SARS-CoV-2, which for all practical purposes, is no longer present.  There were not designed for the Delta Variant (or any other variants).  Recent studies, indicate that people who’ve developed natural immunity due to having had COVID-19 previously (the disease produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus) who also receive the injection may be susceptible to greater health risk.  The combined effect of natural immunity plus the injection may be far worse than COVID-19 itself.  Dr. Parks testified about this before the Michigan state legislature.

The reality that the injections do not prevent infection or transmission of SARS-CoV-2 seems to be reflected in recent activity by the CDC.  On August 23, 2021, Pfizer received FDA approval for its Biontech injection.  On September 1, 2021, the CDC changed its definition for vaccination.  It now defines vaccination as “The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection from a specific disease.”  Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky pointed out that the CDC previously defined vaccination as “Injection of a killed or weakened infectious organism in order to prevent the disease” up until 2015. From 2015 to September 1, 2021, the CDC defined vaccination as “The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease. The CDC’s vaccination definition evolved from “prevention” to “immunity,” and now to mere “protection.”  The CDC seems to have confirmed what Dr. Parks told me (and a few of my “Corner” friends) and tacitly admitted that the injections do not prevent infection or transmission.

The national injection mandate seems to also be anti-science.  Studies like this one from Israel specifically compared the potency and durability of natural immunity to purported injection immunity.  The authors wrote that their study demonstrated “natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant” than does the two-dose Pfizer injection (the only one with FDA approval to date).  In light of this fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci (“The boy from Brooklyn”) was specifically asked during a recent CNN appearance why Americans with natural immunity would need injections.  His response: I don’t have “a really firm answer” on that.  Seriously?  This from the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases?  If this is so, is science driving the J. Robinette B. Administration to implement a national injection mandate, or is something else dictating this decision?

Whatever the answer, this national mandate is a no-go.  It is unconstitutional.  It’s not supported jurisprudentially.  And, it does not follow the available science.  The United States of America is a constitutional republic.  We are not a monarchy and we will not abide a dictatorship.  The current administration seems to require a reminder of that fact. This abuse of executive power may be just the thing to provoke that reminder.

THE HAMILTON CORNER – Tuesday, September 28, 2021
She’s back.  Dr. Christina Parks is back in “The Corner” to discuss her concerns with this novel technology being used for vaccination.

Is There No Justice For Abused, Trafficked Children Now

.jpg photo of justiceMistrial declared in case against Backpage.com founders

PHOENIX, AZ  –  A federal judge on Tuesday declared a mistrial in the case involving prostitution and money laundering charges against founders of the classified site Backpage.com, noting that none of the defendants have been charged with child sex trafficking, despite it being mentioned several times by prosecutors during the trial.

Judge Susan Brnovich for the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona said that repeated references to child sex trafficking by both prosecutors and witnesses brought by the government “is something that I can’t overlook and will not overlook,” according to The Associated Press.

Brnovich had said before the start of the trial that while she would permit evidence indicating that individuals were trafficked on the website, prosecutors could not focus on specific details of alleged abuse.

“It seemed the government abused that leeway,” she said, adding that lingering on details of abuse brings a “whole new emotional response from people,” potentially impacting the integrity of the trial.

Former Backpage.com owners Michael Lacey and James Larkin, as well as four other company employees, have been accused by federal prosecutors of intentionally selling ads for sex on the website.

While prosecutors have said that many of the victims of the alleged sex trafficking were children, child sex trafficking is not among the charges facing the former employees.

All six of the defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges of facilitating prostitution, and four of them, including Lacey and Larkin, have also pleaded not guilty to money laundering.

Prosecutors have argued that Backpage generated roughly $500 million from the alleged prostitution scheme between the time it was first launched in 2004 and when it was shut down by the federal government in 2018, according to the AP.

Lacey and Larkin, who founded the Phoenix New Times and held ownerships in other weekly news outlets, have maintained that they did not allow ads for sex, and claimed that they attempted to use various tools to remove the allegedly unauthorized ads that appeared on their site.

The news agency reported that Brnovich has set a new trial date for Oct. 5.

In April 2018, Backpage pleaded guilty to human trafficking charges in Texas, and then-CEO Carl Ferrer pleaded guilty to money laundering charges in California.

Months later, Dan Hyer, the sales director for the website, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges, admitting that he was involved in a scheme to give free advertising to sex workers in an attempt to keep them away from competitor platforms.