INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has a problem: What to do about all the forced prostitution that he's sure will be happening when Indianapolis hosts the Super Bowl this winter on February 6.
Of course, Zoeller's actual problem is that he (and his cadre of advisors and consultants) haven't yet figured out that most of the women involved in prostitution have affirmatively chosen their profession—and that all those statistics he's been reading about the number of trafficked women and children in the U.S.—he's claiming that "[a]s many as 300,000 girls between the ages of 11 and 17 are lured into the United States' sex industry annually"—are staggeringly inflated.
"He [Zoeller] said the recent track record of America's most-watched sporting event suggests that along with it comes an uptick in women, especially those under age 18, who are brought into the United States illegally and forced into prostitution," wrote Eric Bradner of the Evansville Courier & Press.
See, even though the Indianapolis 500, Indiana's biggest sporting event, draws hundreds of thousands more fans to the city than a Super Bowl, Zoeller's sure there'll be more hooking because, "It's the international focus. It's a different kind of sporting event."
Apparently he's confused about the fact that when pretty much everyone else in the world says "football," they're talking about what we call "soccer." Apples and oranges, don't'cha know?
But no; Zoeller's paranoia will be prostitutes' problem, if he has anything to say about it.
After a September 30 "training session" called by Zoeller for "law enforcement, prosecutors and victim advocates," he's urging the state legislature to pass a new law that would criminalize "the organized exploitation of children by people who profit from the sale of sex with minors"—or as we know them, "pimps," whose activities we suspect are already illegal.
"Our goal is to increase awareness that prostitution isn't a victimless crime," Zoeller claimed. "Many of these young women who enter the sex trade are often physically forced, coerced, raped or imprisoned by their traffickers."
Trouble is, apparently all that force, coercion, rape and imprisonment is really, really well hidden.
"If they [police] know what to look for, what questions to ask, we're hoping we can identify more victims and serve them," said Abby Kuzma, director of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office.
And if they can't find "victims" to "serve," they'll do their best to create them. Just three days after the confab, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police (with a Fox 59 News crew in tow) raided three massage parlors in Marion County, seizing massage tables, computers and arrested two women, neither of whom were minors, and neither of whom appeared to have been "trafficked."
Not too surprisingly, officials in Dallas, Texas, the site of the most recent Super Bowl, made similar predictions about the impending rampant sex-trafficked child prostitution, yet interestingly, no one appears to have done any follow-up after the 2011 Super Bowl to see how many trafficked child prostitutes were discovered servicing Super Bowl attendees.
Perhaps in Indiana, the news media will be a bit more thorough.