An 18-year-old New York City woman has been rescued from an alleged sex trafficker who met her online, drove her 70 miles from home and forced her into sex slavery for months, according to prosecutors.
Javesh Persaud, a 33-year-old from Shirley, New York, allegedly met the victim on an app called Omegle in July, according to Suffolk County prosecutors. The app pairs random strangers for chats and video calls, authorities said.
“This defendant allegedly took advantage of this victim’s vulnerability in order to inflict unspeakable and repeated traumas upon her for his own profit,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney.
The victim, identified only as Jane Doe in court documents, had been kicked out of her father’s house after she turned 18 and finished high school, authorities said. She was sleeping in Manhattan subway stations at the time she met Persaud, who allegedly promised her food and shelter and claimed he worked with the homeless.
“Anyone who engages in trafficking and exploitation of any person, especially those most vulnerable, should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” she told Fox News Digital. “Having strong law enforcement and non-government organizations like Polaris to assist this brave survivor shows why public/private partnership is key to addressing human trafficking.”
Roughly 25 million people around the globe are victims of trafficking, according to the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report. Trafficking investigations involving American citizens, as well as foreign nationals, have occurred in all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, one in four victims of human trafficking or modern-day slavery are children — and most forced laborers, including forced sex workers, are women and girls.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline can be reached at 1-888-373-7888. In an emergency, call 911.
Michael Ruiz is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @mikerreports