Mr. Speaker, it happened right under the entire community’s nose: 8-year-old Jen—that is correct, 8 years old—was raped and tortured almost on a daily basis.
Jen was not kidnapped by a stranger or abused by a relative. She was sold for sex by a neighbor at the neighbor’s house. It was not just Jen who was sold for sex. It was also her younger sister, a male cousin, and a whole group of kids from her hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania.
She and her fellow victims were coerced into participating and keeping it a secret through an elaborate con of gifts and threats. No one ever went looking for Jen because she was not ever missing.
From 3 to 6 p.m., she was forced to have sex with strangers. The trafficking finally ended when she was about 10 years of age because the neighbor just disappeared.
Mr. Speaker, sex slavery happens. As parents and grandparents, we need to know where our kids are because monsters that hurt victims must be prosecuted, both the sellers and the buyers, even if they are neighbors.
The message is clear: Our children are not for sale. Leave them alone.
And that is just the way it is.