SeaTac based Genesis Project offers hope to young girls caught in area sex-trafficking
The Genesis Project was formed to offer hope for a new life to young women and girls involved in Domestic Minor Sex-Trafficking (DMST) in the South King County area.
A team of SeaTac-based police detectives and staff are transforming vice into virtue, liberating young teens from "the lifestyle" of prostitution on the mean streets of South King County and offering shelter, food, clothes, and folks other than their "daddy" or pimp, to look up to, at the Genesis Project drop-in Center.
The Project was started last August by Deputy Andy Conner of the "SeaTac Vice". He was just named "Citizen of the Year 2012" by the Municipal league of King County, nominated by King County Sheriff Sue Rahr.
He and colleagues, Detective Brian Taylor and Joel Banks spoke to the Highline Times from the SeaTac Police Department Friday, April 27, about the gritty side of teenaged prostitution, particularly along Highway 99 near the airport, and the possibility of hope for the estimated 300 to 1,000 minors they consider victims of abusive pimps, compulsive johns, and in many cases, family members who sexually exploited them before they hit the streets at age 13, the average age they enter "the lifestyle".
This was a big day, both for the vice team and the state of Washington. Just a few hours earlier, a notorious pimp, D'Marco Mobley, was sentenced to the longest prison term in state history for prostitution-related crimes, thanks to the vice team's investigation and seven-week trial.
King County Superior Court Judge Monica Benton sentenced Mobley, 21, to 37 years following his March conviction on eight felonies, including kidnapping, robbery, promoting the commercial sexual abuse of a minor, and two counts of first-degree rape, including locking one of the women in the trunk of a car for 28 hours, raping her and helping another man rape her.
"The biggest misunderstanding is that they want to be out there," said Conner of the young girls working the street. "They are out there by themselves and so people think they want this. But their pimp will rape them, threaten to kill them, and when we find them, they don't have a cent on them. We realized after hearing their stories why they're out there and discovered that, yeah, they are victims, not criminals. That's how the Genesis Project came about. The Genesis Project's main thing is to get them off the street, out of the life, and into a dream goal."
"There are not as much drugs as you used to see with the very young girls, 13 to 15," said Banks. "Drugs ruin 'the product' for the pimp. The more they are sober the better a 'product' they are. The way the pimps look at is is that they get more use out of the girl starting her at even 11 years old, while catering to the perversions of society. I think this has a lot to do with the explosion of Internet porn. Johns try to act things out in real life they see on their computers."
"In America there are 300,000 to 500,000 juveniles trafficked, forced into sexual servitude," said Taylor, who also works with the FBI Innocence Lost project. "Pimps find young girls on Facebook, or they hang out at middle schools high schools, malls, anywhere kids congregate."
Taylor worked the closest on the Mobley investigation, and spent a lot of time in court with him, and the three victims.
"He showed no remorse," said Taylor. "He's a real cocky, arrogant guy who always thinks he can literally charm your pants off you. Even today after the sentence the attitude came out. Just an all around bad guy."
All three of Mobley's victims have moved on, for the better, with their lives. All three SeaTac vice members have their own kids, and said this is what motivates them to reach out to these troubled girls.
The Genesis Project is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and requests donations from individuals, churches, and businesses. Visit www.gpseattle.org for more information.