Gangs, operating in Minneapolis MN, Nashville TN, and Columbus OH, allegedly sought to recruit children in same cases even younger than 14, “and force them in prostitution in exchange for cash, drugs or other items” according to Monday’s Nashville indictment.
The charges, which include the federal crime of transporting a 13-year-old across state lines to have sexual encounter, point to forced sex acts in both hotel rooms and men’s bathrooms. The ring is said to have begun operating in 2005.
The Tennessean reports that “The indictment targets three groups that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has identified as Somali gangs: the Somali Outlaws, the Somali Mafia and the Lady Outlaws.” (As if the names didn’t give it away.)
Especially because, as U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin stated Monday, “Trafficking children for sex is, to put it mildly, intolerable,” some now fear a backlash against the US-based Somali community which is still reeling from alleged links to the al-Shabaab terrorist group.
And while it’s unfair to stereotype an entire ethnic group for the actions of a few, one can hardly dismiss the inclination of many to do so, if one considers the attitudes towards many of America’s wide Muslim population.