Q&A – Why Law Enforcement Didn't Shut Down The Day Spa Sooner

Today’s question comes from Arturo.

What I don't get is that if law enforcement really cared about stopping the abuse these women were receiving, then why did they take so long to take the place down? Certainly, they could have just sent in some undercover officers, then after being offered more than a massage they could have shut the place down. Clearly, they were not interested in that, what they really wanted was to embarrass some very wealthy people, mission accomplished. And as for the massage parlor business, well it is alive and flourishing in every strip mall I see in America.

Bottom Line: Yesterday I mentioned that we lose 22 Americans into human trafficking per day. However, I didn’t address the number of people trafficked into the US from other countries per day. That number is an average of 44 per day. The problem, sick as it is, remains supply and demand. As we know the Jupiter case was one that fell into this category with women trafficked into the US. 

Florida is third nationally for human trafficking. South Florida is the epicenter of Florida’s human trafficking epidemic with Broward ranking first, Palm Beach County second and Miami-Dade third. You’ll notice that it’s not in direct relation to county population either. On a per capita basis Palm Beach County may be about as bad as it gets nationally. But, you still might be asking why law enforcement didn’t act quicker given that they’d been investigating for many months prior to the crackdown. The reason is that law enforcement realized that simply shutting down yet another faux business doesn’t fix the problem. As long as the demand persists there are enough criminals willing to take the risk to meet it. Nothing gets solved and the problem just moves from one location to another. 

Just as every person who buys illegal products contributes to criminal enterprises, every person purchasing illegal services was doing the same. The focus of this operation was as much an effort to capture as many buyers of these services as it was on taking out the operators. By casting a wide net there’s a two-fold benefit. First, you’re able to hold accountable these adults creating demand for human trafficking. Second, you’re able to send an incredibly loud message that if you buy these types of illegal services you very well may be taken down and will live the rest of your life as a sexual offender. That should help in dissuading others from considering these types of services in the future. 

Again, it’s more important to snuff out demand than it is to take out a lone perpetrator. That’s why I’m hopeful that the attention Robert Kraft receives as being among the alleged sexual offenders aiding the evils of human trafficking can be helpful to save the lives of other women in the future.

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Photo by: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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