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Fans flocking to the Super Bowl will be gearing up for tailgating and touchdowns. For some, though, Sunday's big game is also the Super Bowl of Child Prostitution.
Texas police have assigned extra agents this week to keep watch for a different kind of out-of-town visitor: pimps selling children for sex. As America's largest sporting event, the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers will make Dallas a magnet for business of all kinds. That includes the multimillion dollar, under-age sex industry, according to Reuters."The Super Bowl is one of the biggest human trafficking events in the United States," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told Reuters.
Experts say that there isn't anything special about the Super Bowl (or Texas), but that any major event attracts more crime, which unfortunately includes prostitution.
While the annual influx of men to host cities has increased the local sex trade exponentially, police have only recently begun to see an increase in child prostitution at the Super Bowl. During the last three games, according to the AP, police busted a child prostitution ring (2008), arrested two men advertising sex with a minor (2009), and caught a man who was later sentenced to 20 years for bringing a teenager to Hawaii to work as a prostitute (2010).
Those involved in child prostitution face steep penalties and up to a lifetime in prison. Both parties face potential state charges, such as sexual conduct with a minor, rape and assault, in addition to Federal crimes. On the federal front, pimps likely face charges of sex trafficking of children, interstate transportation of minors for illegal sexual activity, and potentially child pornography. Federal law also punishes those who purchase or even offer to purchase child prostitution services. Sentences vary for these crimes, ranging between five years to life, and are often served consecutively with state sentences, piling on the years behind bars.
In preparation for the surge in prostitution, the AP reports that advocacy groups and police have been distributing information to homes and businesses. Dallas Cowboys player Jay Ratliff also filmed an anti-child prostitution ad, proclaiming that "real men don't buy children. They don't buy sex."