Dottie Laster, a San Antonio-based advocate who fights trafficking told the Daily Beast, “Kids are being groomed, lured, and recruited….When kids are worth $150,000 to $300,000 a year on the sex market, [traffickers] are going to spend the time, do the work, show up at football games. They’ll put in the time to do this. If your kids are online, you need to be there,” Laster said.
John says though they knew their daughter had gotten in with a “bad crowd” and they tried to intervene, it was “too little too late” — the groomers had a serious hold on her. “I’m completely transparent. I never tried to portray it to anyone that she was nabbed off the street while carrying her Bible to choir practice,” he said, also adding, “We had no idea it was nearly as bad as it was.”
He goes on to say in his Facebook post:
“We knew some of her friends were trouble and restricted access to them… I went face-to-face with a few of them and assertively demanded they stay away from my daughter. Unfortunately, my actions only reinforced the alienation strategy that was being used against us. We saw problems. We tried many approaches to turn things in a different direction. We never dreamed the trouble we were facing was a dangerous as it turned out to be.”
In hindsight, John seems to wish he had been more vigilant about what social media apps his daughter was on from the GET-GO, rather than waiting to intervene when he realized there was a problem. Now, this determined dad is out to change the laws in his state, advocating that, among other things, Texas increases the age to work in sexually oriented businesses from 18 to 21 and to increases penalties for anyone caught promoting prostitution when the victim is under age 21.
And, he will continue speaking out and warning other parents. “The fight continues, he says. “They messed with the wrong girl.”