Friday, October 12, 2007

US: Slavery in the Suburbs

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA -- Most people think slavery ended in America back in the 19th century. But thousands of people are sold in this country each year. Some are made to work for no pay. Others are forced into prostitution.

The government has funded 42 task forces across the country to root out human trafficking operations.

It's an industry that's worth some $32 billion worldwide. And as CBS News correspondent Tracy Smith reports in a series for The Early Show, it's making its way into America's suburbs.

At 17, Shauna Newell didn't see it coming.

"She was the new girl at school looking for friends," says Shauna.

A new girl in town invited Shauna for a sleepover in her Pensacola, Fla., neighborhood. A man posing as the girl's father slipped Shauna a drug. She woke up to a nightmare.

“My legs were being held,” she says. “And my head ... my hands were tied like this, above my head. And I remember saying, 'No, please don't do this. Stop.'"

While her parents frantically searched for her, Shauna was drugged, raped and beaten. Investigator Brad Dennis suspected Shauna was a victim of human trafficking, a growing problem in the Florida Panhandle...


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