A 15-year-old Texas girl went to a Dallas Mavericks home match with her father. This is the type of date that daddy/daughter will always remember fondly for many years. The evening ended in disaster for both her parents and the girl.
The girl went to the bathroom shortly before halftime and did not return. Although her father reported her missing before halftime, her attorney says that Dallas police did not conduct an investigation. Instead, he was instructed after the game to wait for word from authorities.
The family’s pain continued. The family called the Dallas Police Department for several days before calling the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative. They discovered that the girl was being sold in Oklahoma City.
Eight people have been charged in the case so far, including human trafficking, distribution of child pornography, and rape.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram family lawyer Zeke Fortenberry “sent an email to the Dallas Police Department and the American Airlines Center, Dallas Mavericks, Extended Stay America, and the Dallas Police Department stating that their policies and actions had failed the victim’s family.”
Fortenberry claims that the family’s complaints about the Mavericks or America Airlines Center are centered on the man who was carrying a fake ticket and left the arena with the girl. Although the fraudster who sold the ticket was known to engage in the same activity as the Mavericks, the America Airlines Center allowed him to access a restricted area where the girl met him. Extended Stay America’s employees in Oklahoma City, where the girl was discovered by police, have not been properly trained to recognize the sex trafficking activities.
An aside note from WFAA’s story about the crime
Fortenberry stated that he has yet to receive a reply from any of the parties to which he wrote the letter. He said that he hopes to hear back in the next month so that the matter can be resolved without the need for a lawsuit.
This story illustrates a terrible reality. Sex trafficking does not only involve young women who are smuggled across borders. It also happens at home. All those who were involved in this crime, may God grant mercy to their souls. No one else on the planet will be as merciful. A prayer for healing for the little girl.