‘Hookers for Jesus’ talks about latest sex trafficking sting - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

‘Hookers for Jesus’ talks about latest sex trafficking sting

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Victim advocacy group Hookers for Jesus has worked in pulling children who were forced into prostitution out of the sex trade. Victim advocacy group Hookers for Jesus has worked in pulling children who were forced into prostitution out of the sex trade.
Annie Lobert runs Hookers for Jesus having once before worked as a teenage prostitute. Annie Lobert runs Hookers for Jesus having once before worked as a teenage prostitute.
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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A local victim advocacy group, called ‘Hookers for Jesus' spoke out Monday about the latest FBI sting operation that recovered 105 children nationwide.

One child was recovered in Las Vegas and authorities arrested one pimp.

Annie Lobert runs the program and says she is surprised only one child was recovered. "The girls that contact us, a lot of them are shell shocked, they're really in a state of post traumatic stress disorder," Lobert said.

Lobert spent a portion of her youth trapped in the same circumstances as teen prostitutes, and then worked on rehabilitating her life.

"I myself come from that background and I was a teenage prostitute at one point in my life and it almost destroyed my entire life."

She started the program eight years ago and has been working tirelessly to change the lives of other young women caught in a life of enslavement.

"A lot of the girls who are prostituted or are in underage prostitution are usually, they have a family environment that they don't know their identities," Lobert said.

Ronald Hosko, FBI's Assistant Director of the Criminal Division, said safety of the victims is first on the agenda. "Our goal is to get these young girls into some form of treatment and to help them reshape their lives and reclaim their innocence to the extent they can."

Lobert says lack of self identity is a major problem for victims, but also the money, cars, and the desire to be needed that leaves the young women caught in prostitution. "Not just the money draw itself is just the desire and need to be loved by someone, so the trafficker a.k.a pimp provides that whole."

For women who reach out to her organization, she says it usually starts with a phone call, then she will typically meet with them in person.

She believes more funding from government and community support is needed to change the face of sex trafficking.

"I think it should be state, I think it should be government, and I think it should be our community partners. I think it should be churches, I think it should be everyone that has a heart for kids," Lobert said.

"More than half the women I deal with were underage prostitutes. That's how I started."

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