Society

Teen Who Had Sex At School Was Human Trafficking Victim

| by Michael Doherty
The front of South Fort Myers High School.The front of South Fort Myers High School.

A Florida teen who was reported to have sex with multiple male students in a high school bathroom was also a survivor of human trafficking.

The girl, 15, was reported to have had sex with multiple boys in a South Fort Myers High School boys' bathroom after school while 25 male students watched, according to Crimefeed. The activities were filmed and distributed to other students on Snapchat, a social media application .

The girl has also been reported to be a victim of sexual abuse.  She ran away from home at 13 and ended up in the hands of human traffickers. She was reportedly held captive and sexually abused for two years. At the time of the recent incident in the bathroom, the girl had just finished an eight-month treatment program and had been back at school for only two days.

"What’s upsetting about this, is this behavior is not uncommon for human-trafficking victims," said Megan Estrem of Be The Light, a group that advocates for the victims of sex trafficking.

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According to the girl's mother, she had gone to the boys' bathroom to talk to a boy she had a crush on. The boy asked her to have sex, and she agreed. After that, another boy entered the bathroom, and more boys continued to come, though most only watched the sexual activities.

"She was not equipped to make a stable, rational decision in that situation," Estrem said, according to New York Daily News.  "She has been in an environment where she has been told to behave a certain way, and there were severe consequences if she didn’t."

Estrem reinforced that the girl "did not sleep with 25 boys in the bathroom – there was only a handful that she did sleep with. In this case, it was more of a spectator sport."

Florida's age of consent is 18, though people who are 16 and 17 can legally have sex with partners that are 16 to 24. Having sex with a 15 year old is considered statutory rape, according to the Independent. The males involved in the incident who are 16 or older could face statutory rape charges, while those who shared video and images of the incident on Snapchat could face charges related to child pornography.

"The incident this week should not be a reflection on our combined efforts, administration, students, and teachers, to keep our building and students secure and safe," said South Fort Myers High School Principal Melissa Layner.

Sources: New York Daily News, Crimefeed, Independent / Photo credit: NBC via Crimefeed

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