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AG Bondi, Human Trafficking Council Identify Areas That Still Need Work

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Florida Channel

While the state has made new strides in efforts to combat human trafficking, a statewide panel convened by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says there are still areas that need some work.

At Thursday’s meeting of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking in Tampa, Bondi updated the panel about some troubling statistics.

“30 percent of trafficking cases in both Tampa and Miami involved girls with intellectual disabilities,” said Bondi. “While the average age of the victim was 14, the cognitive age equivalent was eight to ten-years-old. These victims primarily describe their traffickers as boyfriends because they don’t know any better.”

More drug traffickers are now switching to human trafficking, and Fort Myers continues to be a hot spot for human trafficking. Other problem areas include the Florida panhandle, where a lot of labor trafficking there is linked to the hotel industry. The 15-member panel also heard good news. For example, Orlando had successfully prosecuted the first case using Florida’s human trafficking statute.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.