Segments in this Video

Introduction: Sex Trafficking in America (04:36)


In Phoenix, "Frontline" follows a police unit that goes undercover online to catch predators. It takes a long time between an arrest and a suspect's trial. Sex traffickers bring in prostitutes because they assume there will be a large client base at the Superbowl. (Credits)

New Approach to Sex Trafficking (03:39)

Police no longer call victim's prostitutes and treat pimps as perpetrators. Backpage is the largest virtual marketplace for buying and selling sex. Officers search for juveniles online.

Going Undercover (03:19)

Officers use fake Facebook accounts to reach out to traffickers and prostitutes. Christi De Couffle works on multiple accounts when performing surveillance in the evenings and weekends. Dominique Roe-Sepowitz studies the scope of sex trafficking.

Sex Trafficking Minors (06:39)

Kat, a 16-year-old runaway, describes how she met her traffickers through the MeetMe app. Her parents discuss filing a missing person's report. Amber Campbell is preparing a case for the county attorney.

Making a Case (02:53)

Only 27% of victims are willing to participate in a trial. Officers must be prepared to answer a pimp's call at any time of the day. Heidi Chance explains how law enforcement bolsters cases against predators.

Arresting Perpetrators (03:19)

A sheriff's deputy in Albuquerque notifies Melissa Borquez that Dwayne Mathis is a suspect in another sex-trafficking case involving a minor. The anti-sex trafficking unit apprehends him at a Greyhound bus station.

Interrogation (02:03)

Mathis offers to become an informant instead of being booked. A judge sentences him to nine years three months in prison. Samantha Caplinger describes how law enforcement is providing extremely thorough investigations that enable prosecutors to pursue strict sentences.

Dream Center (04:05)

Kat moves into an organization that specializes in helping survivors of sex trafficking. Marriah describes the emotional traps predators employ on victims.

Cooperating with Police (01:58)

If the victim is a minor, individuals who purchase sex are charged with child sex trafficking in Arizona. Kat's customer helps corroborate her story and identify other participants. The Phoenix Anti-Trafficking Unit performs undercover work on the streets; johns are now booked and photos are taken.

Sting Operation (05:18)

Police officers schedule appointments for sex acts with johns. Fetish and deviant behavior requests grow. More grown men cry after being arrested for soliciting a prostitute than any other crime.

Kat's Case (05:16)

Police officers want to capture an image of the victim on the day she is recovered because appearances change drastically. Jesse Cisneros, Rafael Quiroz, and Bryant Flemate appear at a dozen preliminary hearings. Kat worries she does not have enough strength to continue; Carla Grace prepares her to testify by bringing her back to hotels where she met customers.

Sentencing Hearing (05:41)

Cisneros agrees to cooperate and provides details on customers and the other defendants. Kat reads a statement she prepared. A judge sentences Cisneros to 24 years for child sex trafficking; Quiroz receives 10 years and Flemate 16.

Conclusion: Sex Trafficking in America (02:59)

Campbell describes the unintended consequences to shutting down Backpage. New websites Bedpage and Onebackpage emerge on the virtual marketplace. It is becoming harder to find the victims.

Credits: Sex Trafficking in America (01:04)

Credits: Sex Trafficking in America

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Sex Trafficking in America

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



FRONTLINE tells the unimaginable stories of young women coerced into prostitution—and follows one police unit that is committed to rooting out sexual exploitation. With extensive and intimate access to local law enforcement, prosecutors, service providers and the women themselves, the film shines a light on the hidden reality of sex trafficking in America.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL191982

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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