human trafficking

File Photo | St. Louis Cardinals

Updated at bottom on October 22 with bets from the Archdiocese.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. to clarify quote about child trafficking.

The leaders of the Episcopal cathedrals in Boston and St. Louis are betting that the World Series between the Red Sox and Cardinals will help combat human trafficking and prostitution in their cities.

Illinois is getting tougher on those involved in human trafficking and forcing the vulnerable into prostitution.
 Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law Saturday that strengthens the ability of prosecutors to target those behind what he called "a tragic trade."
The measure also offers greater protection to the victims, who are often from vulnerable groups like runaways, abused children and immigrants.

(via Flickr/vauvau)

A suburban St. Louis event planner is seeking to enlist hotels in the fight against human trafficking of minors, particularly for sex.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Nix Conference & Meeting Management has begun pressuring the 500 or so hotels it does business with to sign a code of conduct in the effort to protect children from trafficking.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

A suburban St. Louis man has pleaded guilty to participating in the commercial sex trafficking of a woman whom prosecutors allege was coerced into being a sex slave.

Thirty-three-year-old Bradley Cook of Kirkwood entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Kansas City.

The case revolves around a woman who said she was a teenager when she moved into the rural Lebanon, Mo., trailer of co-defendant Edward Bagley and his wife. The accuser said she was used as a sex slave for years and came to authorities only after going into cardiac arrest after a torture session.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Nixon signs human trafficking bill

People convicted of human trafficking in Missouri will face longer maximum sentences under a bill signed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The legislation addresses convictions for trafficking for slavery, forced labor or sexual exploitation and abuse through forced labor. Those crimes now carry maximum sentences of 15 years in prison.

Maria Altman / St. Louis Public Radio

The Millennium Hotel St. Louis signed a code Tuesday to help prevent the sex trafficking of children.

The move came as nearly 900 Sisters of St. Joseph gathered for a three-day event at the Millennium.

Executive director of the Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph in the U.S., Kathy McCluskey, says they’re working to inform Americans about the issue of child sex trafficking.

"What we’ve discovered is when you do that people will recognize the horror of it and immediately want to learn what can be done to prevent it at every level," McCluskey said.

(via Flickr/k763)
  • According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Charles and St. Charles County leaders say they will push ahead in the fight against anti-gay protests at military funerals. That's a despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Wednesday in favor of such demonstrators. In an 8-to-1 ruling, the high court said Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church doesn't have to pay damages to the family of a Marine from Maryland.
Tim Bommel / House Communications Office

A state representative has announced plans to introduce a bill to increase penalties for human trafficking convictions in Missouri.

Democratic Rep. Jason Kander said the measure he plans to introduce this week would boost Missouri penalties for human trafficking to the same level as federal statutes. He said federal penalties for human trafficking range from fines to five years and up to life in prison. Most Missouri human trafficking penalties go up to 15 years in prison.