15-Year-Old Teen Goes Missing From Dallas Mavericks Game— Is Rescued Over a Week Later From Sex Trafficking Ring

mavericks game sex trafficking

A Counter-Trafficking Initiative Based in Houston, Texas Saves the Day

The missing teen’s family got in touch with a nonprofit counter-trafficking initiative in Houston, desperate for someone to find their daughter.

The family’s attorney, Zeke Fortenberry, spoke about the family’s decision. “The family was frustrated. After days of not getting any information from the Dallas Police Department and Dallas Police not taking any action,” he explained, “the family sought out the help of this agency in Houston.”

The family gave the counter-trafficking initiative a photo of the teen.

The counter-trafficking initiative got to work using facial recognition technology, and the girls was located in less than 24 hours.

They found the teen missing from Dallas Mavericks game nearly 200 miles away in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Human traffickers had posted nude photos of the 15-year-old online, and they were selling her for sex at a hotel.

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The Oklahoma City Police Department stepped in, and found her at an Extended Stay America, after they raided the hotel. They were able to arrest and charge eight people involved in the trafficking ring. The girl had been raped many times, across the span of several nights, according to the family’s attorney, Fortenberry.

Due to the alleged negligence of this hotel, as well as multiple agencies, the family is suing Extended Stay America hotels, the Dallas Mavericks, the American Airlines Center, and the Dallas Police Department, with the help of Fortenberry.

Fortenberry points out the faults of the hotel. “When a 40-something-year-old man walks in with a 15-year-old girl,” he explained, “and rents multiple hotel rooms and then there is traffic coming in and out of those rooms, those are red flags.”

While the family is thankful to have their daughter back, Fortenberry explains, “Any time she could have been rescued from [the rape and assault], sooner would have been better.”

While the family and their teen will have a long road to recovery from this horrific experience, thanks to the counter-trafficking initiative and facial recognition technology, this young girl is now in the safety of her family and home.

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Jessica Sausto
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Jessica Sausto is a longtime writer and editor of Christian resources, news, and information.