A Missouri man was taken into custody on Friday for attempting to hire somebody to beat and rape his 11-year-old daughter. Even more vile is the fact that he wanted to watch the abuse take place. But while Anthony Brinkman's case is particularly egregious, it is not unique. Underage sex trafficking happens more in the U.S. than we would like to believe.
St. Louis police were not surprised that a man could place an ad online soliciting someone to abuse his daughter. But the fact that he drove 80 miles to meet the potential assailant (who was actually an undercover cop), did shock them.
Detective Mike Slaughter, who arrested Brinkman, said, "It's just a lot of talk for most of these guys, but [Brinkman] actually brought [the girl] to the scene to go ahead with the next step of enacting it. If we hadn't gotten involved and someone bad had gotten in touch with him, something bad would have happened to that little girl."
However, authorities are not always able to intervene before children are trafficked. The FBI acknowledges that underage sex trafficking is a huge problem in the U.S., and Children at Risk suggests that 200,000 or more American children are at risk of being trafficked annually. Because of the nature of the crime, it is difficult to determine exactly how many children are trafficked each year.
Fortunately for Brinkman's daughter, authorities were able to intervene in time. As a result, officials are holding Brinkman on a $100,000 cash-only bond for attempted statutory sodomy. The prosecution hopes to add sex trafficking of a minor to the list of charges.