Man Rescues Teenage Daughter From Sex Trade (Photos)

| by Michael Howard
Human trafficking is a nationwide problemHuman trafficking is a nationwide problem

A Houston man is attempting to educate the public on human trafficking after his family had the scare of a lifetime.

John Clark's 18-year-old daughter was slowly corrupted and lured into the sex trade by a man on Snapchat.

"What happened is very private, and embarrassing and humiliating," Clark told KHOU.

He says a strange man began communicating with his daughter via Snapchat when she was 16. The two later met up at a party, and suddenly Clark's daughter went missing.

"It was completely out of left field," he said. "Never could have seen it coming."

Clark got to work immediately, setting up a 1-800 number and enlisting a private investigator to help find his daughter, according to the Daily Mail.

A month after her disappearance, the teenager was located in a Houston apartment building with a man who has since pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution of a minor.

Clark's story is reminiscent of the film "Taken," in which Liam Neeson's character takes it upon himself to rescue his daughter and her friend after they are abducted by sex traffickers in France.

"And it's nothing against the police," Clark said of his decision to use a private eye. "It's just they're not set up to do that, they're set up to slowly, methodically build an airtight case. And in the time it would've taken to build an airtight case, I would've lost my daughter."

Clark, whose daughter is now undergoing therapy, has published a petition online to help educate others on the realities of sex trafficking and also to bolster the laws that are designed to prevent it.

"In the petition I've written, I've given specifics on criminals who’ve been pursued, arrested, prosecuted and convicted. And get nothing," he told KHOU.

As of Oct.11, Clark's petition has received over 4,900 signatures. His goal is 100,000.

Clark also preempted accusations that he and his wife are somehow to blame for their daughter's traumatic experience.

"When you read the scenario above you may get the impression we were uninvolved parents who simply were not paying attention to our children," he wrote on Facebook, according to the Daily Mail. "That was not the case."

In addition to regularly checking their daughter's phone, Clark said he and his wife kept track of her passwords and also had a GPS tracker installed on her vehicle.

"We Facetimed her every time she went out to make sure she was where she was supposed to be and she was with the people she was supposed to be seeing."

Nevertheless, the teen was targeted without their knowledge.

"There was trouble lurking out there," Clark told KHOU. "We had no idea how bad it is."

Sources: KHOU, Daily Mail, iPetitions / Photo credit: Ira Gelb/Flickr

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