Drop In Center for Exploited Girls Opening; Human Trafficking case Prosecuted

The Project GOLD Drop In Center is opening January 6 and is taking referrals of girls at risk or involved in commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Programming will be ongoing at the Center four days a week (Mondays-Thursdays) with counselors and case workers there daily Monday-Friday.

We also heard news last week about a pivotal case of human trafficking. Congratulations to the jury and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle for the successful prosecution of what the SAO’s office believes to the be first human trafficking criminal case in Florida since new laws passed in the 2012 legislative session went into effect. The new legislation toughened the penalties for traffickers and the Safe Harbor Act, which went into effect January 1, 2013, provided for services including “safe houses” for exploited child-victims.

The Herald reported that the jury found David Salomon, 27, guilty of once count of human trafficking involving the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor. <Read Herald article>

The Safe Harbor Act was authored by and advocated for by Kristi House for three years before lawmakers agreed that children are victims not criminals when exploited by traffickers in prostitution and pornography. Kristi House first brought the Miami community together around this issue in 2007 and has since grown its Project GOLD program to help girls ages 11 to 17 entrapped in commercial sexual exploitation.