or threat of force; this is human sex trafficking.”36 In other words, a
majority of young women are coerced into working in the
commercial sex industry by some type of force or threat. Thus, the
belief that only adult women are voluntarily involved is a myth. The
terms “pimp” and “trafficker” are used interchangeably, because the
federal definition of a human trafficker encompasses all individuals
who profit from the commercial sexual exploitation of children.37 A
trafficker can be from any “social, ethnic, and racial group . . . [some
are a part of] local street and motorcycle gangs, others are members
of larger nationwide gangs and criminal organizations, and some
have no affiliation with any one group or organization.”38 The human
sex trafficking operation is a complex web of lies, humiliation,
sexism, and abuse.39 Sex trafficking generally consists of a highly
organized hierarchy of persons who control various stages and
aspects of the trafficking. The hierarchy includes three main parts:
the buyers who create the demand; the traffickers who provide the
product; and the facilitators who offer the means with which
domestic minor trafficking can take place.40
The recruitment process is a highly calculated part of the
trafficking operation. As discussed earlier, the trafficker identifies the
needs of children with unstable family environments and inadequate
support structures.41 The primary method of recruitment into
domestic minor sex trafficking is for the trafficker to prey on the
needs of these children by manipulating a loving relationship with the
child.42 This relationship establishes trust and feelings of allegiance
to the trafficker.43 Then, during the course of the relationship, the
trafficker “grooms”44 the child for commercial sexual exploitation.45
36 See Walker-Rodriguez & Hill, supra note 31.
37 See SMITH ET AL., supra note 12, at 7.
38 Walker-Rodriguez & Hill, supra note 31.
39 See id.
40 See SMITH ET AL., supra note 12, at 16.
41 Id. at 38.
44 “Grooming” is the process through which a trafficker prepares the victim to
become involved in domestic minor sex trafficking. See id. at 38 (explaining that