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Oh look! Is that another sex trafficker?

By Lenore Skenazy . . . We are in the midst of a massive mommy moral panic. Across the country, mothers are writing breathless accounts on Facebook of how sex traffickers nearly snatched their children at Target/Ikea/the grocery store.

While at Sam’s Club, one such post explains, “a man came up to us and asked if the empty cart nearby was ours.…He was an African American with a shaved head.…It seemed like an innocent encounter.” Innocent, that is, until the mom and kids headed to Walmart and there was the guy again, “feverishly texting on his phone but not taking his eye off my daughter.”

It could only mean one thing, she wrote: “I have absolutely NO doubt that that man is a trafficker looking for young girls to steal and sell.”

But it sells. A Facebook post by Diandra Toyos went wildly viral after she said she and her kids were followed by two men at Ikea. “I had a bad feeling,” she wrote. Fortunately, she “managed to lose them.”

Which, frankly, is what one does at Ikea, even with people one is trying not to lose. Nonetheless, the post ricocheted through the media. CBS told viewers that while experts found the scenario unlikely, “that doesn’t mean Toyos didn’t have reason to be concerned.”

Actually, it does.

When yet another post from another mom took off in Denver, local news outlets had to run stories reassuring parents that there had been no legitimate sex trafficking reports in the area. The Littleton Independent also informed people that an earlier story about a man “kidnapping” a child in front of the local library turned out to be about a guy moving a stroller out of the way so he could get to his car.

David Finkelhor, head of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, says parents always worry about their kids. But more and more, that primal fear “gets paired with the fact that we live in a very heterogeneous society, where we encounter lots of people whose behavior and motives we can’t read, we can’t identify with.” It’s a big case of fear of The Other.

Had Finkelhor heard of a single case where a child was taken from a parent in public and forced into the sex trade? No. Because it’s not happening. Actual traffickers build relationships with the young people they go on to exploit, usually troubled or runaway teens. No one is spiriting 2-year-olds from Target.

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Brian 3 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #25343 Reply

    Fred
    Keymaster

    Drama queens. They crave the sympathic attention they get after their “horrifying ordeal”.

  • #25340 Reply

    Donna

    These stories are very nauseating for me to read. Wow, these mothers must be in a living hell all the time, fabricating and overthinking imagined situations over and over! Shut off the tv and stop listening to the news may be a good start for folks with unwarrented fear. Take a hike, go skiing, relax at the beach or lake, put your fears to rest because it is ruining lives.

    • #25388 Reply

      Jonathon Merritt

      Better that they walk off a cliff.
      May their everlasting yearning for an afterlife soon take them from this one!

  • #25341 Reply

    NH Registrant

    So many people are brainwashed by the media. State-run propaganda in the news, in movies, and on TV shows is everywhere. Even things that are completely unrelated have mentioned sex crime things and stereotypes. It definitely seems like it’s social engineering and by design. A sex crime accusation against a person who can’t afford a lawyer is an easy win. It’s money for the state that they can collect from taxpayers while that person is locked up for increasingly longer sentences. Innocence doesn’t even matter when you have a conditioned populace to draw a jury pool from. Most people are bullied away from going to trial by threats of “throwing the book” at them – where they would get the maximum sentence. So, nearly all the people who couldn’t afford a lawyer are in prison because they took a plea deal. It happened to me. I had to take a plea deal because it was my word against a cop. I would have lost and would have gotten decades. Such is the travesty of our so-called justice system. It’s wheels are greased by the moral panic created by their state-run propaganda.

    • #25365 Reply

      Steadfast

      I totally agree with your comment about making people take plea deals with threats of long incarcerations. My friend had the same thing done to him. People would say to me, why would he plead guilty if he wasn’t? Yeah, you get yourself involved in the Justice System in this country and you will plead it out, as well. The DA holds all the cards and he is only interested in a win notch his belt. We had a lying teenager that the DA refused to even interview. I think the kid would have caved had he been forced to tell his lies to a DA, and his parents were scared to death that the kid would have perjury charges brought against him. so they stayed silent. After sentencing, the entire family quit their jobs and moved to another state. What does that say? They knew the kid was lying, but they would rather see someone innocent go to jail than call their kid out as a liar, with possible repercussions. I think the law needs to be changed that if a minor changes their story, they will not be punished legally.

      • #25394 Reply

        M.A.-From Penn

        I hear you “Steadfast”. The DA did not even bother to interview the “so-called victim”? Really?! No surprise to me. The DA probably realized that in doing so would possibly clear your friend and “hence” one less conviction “under his belt”.

        The so-called victim’s family moving out of town = yes, good chance to save “face” for embarrassment but mainly “perjury” charges possibly to follow.

        Can it get any worse??

      • #25716 Reply

        Jonny everyman

        From my experience you have to scrounge every dollar to hire an attorney. A DA isn’t going to tell you if a witness story doesn’t add up. Only your attorney who has the right to witness them pre trial can do that.

  • #25360 Reply

    camille

    I had weird encounter after I got my rental van at Enterprise. I went to the gas station after stopping at a store. I ran into a man at the gas station and he said, did you just get that van at Enterprise? I said yep. He said I thought I saw you there.

    A little weird, yeah, creepy maybe…anything to be worried about ? Nope
    People just like to be hysterical

  • #25359 Reply

    Tony

    This paranoia, instigated by law enforcement and media is the type of false propaganda that brings about social hysteria. We need to promote education with facts, figures and documentation to refute the concept that we ALL are dangerous and bound to reoffend. Expose the ineffectual and unconstitutional laws and ordinances imposed on registered citizens.

  • #25358 Reply

    Dave

    In this age it is offensive to assume anything about anyone except single middle aged men they are all molesters.

  • #25367 Reply

    Kendal

    But…. If the guy was a trafficker because he was at Target then Walmart, wouldn’t that make the mom a trafficker, and using her daughter to entice other children, because she was also at Target then Walmart???

    Think people, think. If you claim someone is something because they do something that you yourself is doing, then that makes you guilty too.

  • #25379 Reply

    david

    I was arrested in an online “bait and switch” sting where an officer posted ads on Craigslist. It was reported to the press (and also to the DOJ, most likely) as “breaking up a child sex trafficking ring”. How can what i did be considered sex trafficking? I ended up being charged with Attempted Child Enticement and having to Register.

    Recently i came across an article stating the same PD that set me up is hiring a full time employee to do this sort of thing. All in the name of fighting so-called sex trafficking. It appears this back-water midwest town has received millions in federal aid to fight “internet crimes against children”. Has there ever been a “real” crime (i don’t mean stings) caught by this task force in the ten or so years it’s been operating? Far as i can tell, no.

    http://www.weau.com/content/news/Four-men-arrested-in-Eau-Claire-child-sex-sting-440581723.html

  • #25377 Reply

    Michael Miller

    I too took a plea deal, having been told they would lite me up like a Christmas tree. I found out later that all prosecutors in South Carolina are mandated to maintain a 95% conviction rate or they could lose their jobs. Its no win situation under those circumstances. Fortunately I only had to serve 3 years when most I served with had 15 or 20 years. Its been tough but Im finally getting back on my feet.

    • #25452 Reply

      Maestro

      “ I found out later that all prosecutors in South Carolina are mandated to maintain a 95% conviction rate or they could lose their jobs.”

      I’m sure it’s like that in all states. And yet no one sees a problem with this? No one sees this as a sort of ‘bribery’ or ‘lottery/gambling’ within the system?
      The idea of law enforcement and courts is to punish those who truly need to be punished, not to gamble with people’s lives for the sake of a job.

      Much like the ‘gambling’ (the only term I can think to use at 2:40am) within the police departments where they have to give out a certain amount of traffic tickets each month in order to get a bonus in their pay.
      Traffic tickets should be given out when absolutely necessary. Not just given because a cop has a hair across his ass on a particular day and wants to harass someone over a blown out tail light.

      These types of bribery within the system is what causes the corruption we all see and experience from the system. Why doesn’t anyone protest and rant and rave about this shit? No. Because protesting over what restrooms someone should be allowed to use is such a greater cause for our tax dollars. Unreal

  • #25378 Reply

    Tim L

    Maybe there was a reason the founders did not give women the vote. Fake hair, fake lips, fake boobs, fake eyelashes and fake fear! This is the same female who afterwards goes home and pops a Valium because some dude nearly kidnapped her kid.

  • #25625 Reply

    Phys Ed

    It is vitally necessary for anyone accused of a sex crime to lawyer up with some sort of credible “dream team”. If you can’t the 500 hundred buck an hour suits like a Dershowitz, a Shenck, or a Bruce Cutler, you are toast in the system and they’ll burn you bad. I’m a veteran of this man’s army, honorably discharged and I still believe in the Pledge of ALlegiance we all had to stand by our school desks at the start of the day and recite from the first grade on. I wouldn’t delete a word of it-but I would ADD four small ones more right after the end line about “liberty and justice for all”….I would add “who can afford it.”
    “because if you can’t afford it, you AIN’T gonna git it!”

    • #25808 Reply

      Brian

      I think 99% of us took a plea deal otherwise we would have gotten out of jail a long time ago and most likely wouldn’t have to be dealing with this garbage, or possibly have been killed in jail and still wouldn’t have to deal with this, just a thought.
      I took a deal with a deferred sentence, paid all my fines and restitution all my obligations were satisfied my time was served and then in 2012 got a sweet Christmas present ,another 15 years to register to with even more requirements. Well hopefully SCOTUS rejects to hear the case.

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