WJTV News Channel 12 - Stiletto Walk Takes Sex Trafficking Awareness to the Streets

Stiletto Walk Takes Sex Trafficking Awareness to the Streets

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That's the age of the youngest victim ever rescued from sex trafficking in Mississippi, organizers with the group "Advocates for Freedom" said.

Administrators say that, while that case is very dramatic, what could be hundreds of other victims still fight for their lives across the state.

On Saturday their mission today was awareness - bringing together the community that walked in footware - turned symbol: stilettos against sex trafficking.

"Because typically when young girls are trafficked for sex, they're forced to wear stiletto heels to make them look older - along with applying extra make-up and things along that nature," spokesperson for Advocates for Freedom Carol Stern said.

"Absolutely their are people in mississippi being trafficked. In fact we have the mother of a 19-year-old who was snatched off High Street on New Year's Day," Stern said.

"She was drugged and she went through several states until she ended up in Florida," the mother said. She wished to remain anonymous - protecting her daughter's identity.

"You couldn't being to imagine what my family endured through those days. And I can only imagine what she endured for those days," the mother said.

The girl's cell phone eventually led authorities to her location, the mother said.

"She was, of course, shaken. a couple of bruises. They had altered her appearance," the mother said.

"They had her in a platinum wig," Stern said. "And they had heavy, heavy, almost theatrical type make-up on her because when a child is snatched they know that the family and friends are going to start posting them on facebook trying to find them. So they don't want that person to look anything like those photographs from home."

And while no one was ever arrested for that case, supporters at the walk - including Jackson's "Friends of Fallen Riders" - want criminals to know awareness on victims is spreading.

"Of course you put yourself in their shoes. These are the shoes they walk in. Not by choice, but by force," the mother said.

The first person to be prosecuted with Mississippi's Stricter human trafficking laws will be back in court this month.

26-year-old Jeremy Hodges pleaded guilty to having sex with a three-year-old girl in May of last year.

He traveled from Massachusetts to Jackson to do it. He's also charged with producing child pornography.

He'll be sentenced in federal court on September 26 and could get up to life in prison.

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