By now you've probably seen or heard the story of the 13 year-old prostitute in Miami forced to have her pimp's name tattooed on her eyelids because she threatened to run away.
Actually, Roman Thomas Iii is accused of having "Suave," his street name, tattooed on one of the girl's eyelids and "House" tattooed on the other eyelid thus branding the child as his property.
Thomas and Shanteria Sanders, who has "Suave" tattooed across her upper chest area, were arrested and jailed on a number of charges including human trafficking, false imprisonment and lewd and lascivious exhibition and delivery of a controlled substance to a child. News reports have not indicated if the tattoo artist in this case faces charges also.
Sexual service provided by the 13 year-old was advertised on a notorious website that will not be named here and providing their site with more free advertising.
This horrific case forces human trafficking --- modern day slavery --- into our private discussions. We can no longer ignore the subject or relegate it just to just a passing topic in a conversation here or there.
There are many questions about how all of the parties in this case now find themselves as a victim and/or perpetrator. Thomas, 26, has an extensive criminal history and was under electronic monitoring when arrested in this case. Sanders, 22, helped to provide the alcohol and take obscene pictures of the teen for the website. The 13 year-old victim ran away from home for reasons not yet publicly disclosed but she does have family support as evidenced by her mother's search for her.
Some of the commenters on our Facebook page blamed the environment in which Thomas was raised. Lacking morals and modeling relationships shown in misogynistic rap videos and reality television do shape the socialization of our youth especially those children lacking strong parental support.
From the Florida Department of Children and Families:
Human Trafficking is modern day slavery. Criminalized under both federal and Florida law, it is defined as the transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, or obtaining of another person for transport; for the purposes of forced labor, domestic servitude or sexual exploitation using force, fraud and/or coercion.
If you believe you are a victim of Human Trafficking or suspect an adult is a victim of human trafficking, please visit the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, or call them at 1-888-3737-888. If you suspect a child is a victim, please call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.
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