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Sex trafficking forum at Milford Library Saturday

January 23, 2018 GMT

MILFORD-The cases are many.

Maybe its because of its closeness to I-95 or the number of hotels, motels and truck stops off its exits.

But federal, state and local law enforcement have made numerous sex trafficking arrests here involving men selling the sexual services of teenagers, often brought in from out-of-state.

Often the women are promoted on internet sites, particularly backpage.com.

And the pimps who are caught? They get pages in U.S. Justice Department press releases. They include people like Edward Thomas s serving 17 1/2 years in federal prison and his accomplice Kayla Walters getting five years; Wellington Brown receiving a 10-year sentence and his accomplice Sheena Dume six years. There’s Brandon Williams spending six years and two months in prison; Barry Davis doing an 18-year stretch and Jason Prawl 12 years.

The latest to be convicted, Carlen Davis, is awaiting an April sentencing.

In light of this the Elm City Abolitionists-Love 146, a New Haven area group targeting sex trafficking and the city’s library have combined for a three-hour forum Saturday, Jan. 27 to bring awareness to the issue.

“It’s all over the place,” said Marilyn Carroll, a Milford pro-life activist who is helping promote the event. “People don’t realize how prevalent it is. We hope this brings more awareness to what’s going on.”

The forum will begin at 2 p.m. with a showing of “Sex and Money: A National Search for Human Worth.”

The documentary covers sex trafficking in 30 states and includes interviewers with law enforcement, activities, pornographers, sex buyers and traffickers.

Following that there will be a panel discussion headed by New Haven Police Det. Leonard Soto, assigned to the special victims unit as well as a federal sex-trafficking task force; Timothy Palmbach, director of the Center for Forensic Investigation of Trafficking in Persons at the University of New Haven and Krystal Ambrozaitis, the Salvation Army’s Southern New England anti-human trafficking coordinator.

“Connecticut is considered a pass-through state,” said Ambrozaitis, who this past fall began coordinating a victims’ services program for the Salvation Army in the Greater Hartford area.

“We are looking to extend it into other areas of Connecticut,” she said. The program provides help with goals, finding jobs and housing as well as therapeutic and spiritual services.

The program is scheduled to run for three hours and is open free to members of the public 18 and older.