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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Researchers Say Super Bowl Sex Trafficking Included Minors

The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos play in Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Researchers identified nearly 2,000 potential sex trafficking victims, including 84 children in New Jersey and Arizona, during the 10 days before and after this year’s Super Bowl. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The first comprehensive research on sex trafficking at the Super Bowl is being released today by researchers in Arizona, where the Super Bowl will be held next year.

They analyzed and placed online sex ads, identifying nearly 2,000 potential sex trafficking victims, including 84 children in New Jersey and Arizona, during the 10 days before and after this year’s Super Bowl.

The information was gathered, sometimes by former Army intelligence officers, using the same type of Internet-sniffing technology used to track militants in Afghanistan. The defense contractor that helped with the research says sex trafficking is a lot like terrorism — a problem that’s hard to see.

Lead researcher Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, who is director of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at Arizona State University, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss her findings.

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