In a nationwide crackdown on child prostitution, thousands of federal, state and local officers took 104 suspected pimps into custody and rescued 79 child prostitutes between the ages of 13 and 17. The crackdown, called Operation Cross Country 6, began Friday and ended Sunday. Fifty-seven cities were involved.
FBI Acting Executive Assistant Director Kevin Perkins said authorities are now faced with the task of rehabilitating the children. "Once the child has been taken out of harm's way, then really the story just begins at that point.That's where the real work starts, where we have to call upon the community, various social welfare agencies, our own office of victim assistance has to work with each child on an individual basis to see what their requirements are,” said Perkins.
"This is a very difficult task. These children are very damaged -- very harmed, and they need a great deal of help -- it's really taxing the social welfare agencies and it's something that, going forward, we need to pay particular attention to,” he added.
"It is clear that child prostitution and sex trafficking do not just occur somewhere else on the other side of the world. These insidious crimes are occurring in American cities and the victims are American kids,” National Center for Missing & Exploited Children president Ernie Allen said.
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