Maryland man arrested for human trafficking of teen

WASHINGTON – A 20-year-old man has been arrested and charged with the human trafficking of a 16-year-old girl.

Saleh Jamar Pointer of Lanham, Maryland has also been charged with prostitution and the sexual abuse of a minor in the case.

Sgt. David Coleman, who is in charge of the Vice Intelligence Unit in the Prince George’s County Police Department say the girl first came to their attention when she was stopped by Takoma Park police. “When they began speaking to her, she explained how she was being trafficked,” Coleman says.

In a story first reported by ABC 7, police say the girl had been fed crack, forced into prostitution, and had been stashed in a filthy, mosquito-infested basement apartment in Prince George’s County. Now, Coleman says the girl has been placed in a program where she’s able to go back to school and leave her life as a human trafficking victim behind her.

Coleman says it’s important for people to realize that prostitution isn’t a victimless crime, and that pimps deliberately seek out young, vulnerable teens. They constantly reinforce the isolation they impose on their victims, telling them things like, “Look, this is who you are now. Nobody will want you, nobody will understand you except me. I understand you, I love you.”

That’s one reason Coleman says it’s not uncommon to see victims return to the very men who abused them and prostituted them in the first place. In this case, the victim seems to be doing well.

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