BY SAMUEL ALLEGRI February 6, 2021 Updated: February 6, 2021 for The Epoch Times
Jaco Booyens, the founder of SHAREtogether, said former President Donald Trump’s efforts to create an office dedicated to fighting sex trafficking made an “incredible impact” over the last four years.
SHAREtogether is a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating child sex trafficking.
Booyens was interviewed by NTD on Friday and asked to expound on the big sex trafficking bust that occurred in California this week.
Sixty-four people were arrested and two women were rescued in an anti-human trafficking sting in California’s Riverside County.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said the arrests were part of Operation Reclaim and Rebuild, an annual statewide operation. The sting “ran for four consecutive days before concluding on January 28, 2021,” the department said on Tuesday.
“It’s a big orchestration, to execute a sting or a bust, like what we’ve just seen in California, and it takes months and months of planning and funding. And that’s why it’s very important for both local and federal, local, state, and federal government to support the fight against sex trafficking, because you cannot do it on your own,” Booyens said.
He noted that for these operations to succeed, they need to be able to be conducted in a way that they can have standing in court, and some connections between the judicial system and the police have to exist.
Booyens said that before Trump “we’ve never had an office in the White House designated and dedicated to fighting sex trafficking. No former president in the history of this country has used his or her platform to denounce the exploitation of children and then appropriate funding. So we’ve seen an incredible impact over the years, over the last four years, particularly towards the support for law enforcement.”
Regular police officers, he said, are not trained to investigate, profile, or conduct a sting operation. It requires special training and a lot of resources and effort.
“We’ve seen a tremendous rise in the apprehension, the arrest of perpetrators and rescue of victims under the Trump administration, no question about it,” Booyens said. “In these cases that you’re seeing now such as California, and you’ll see some others coming out now, they’ve been 9, 10 months in the making under the Trump administration—in that mechanism of funding law enforcement appropriately, having special task forces.”
He said that since the new Biden administration has only been in office for one month, the situation in this regard remains to be seen.
“Whether those policies and systems that were put in place, whether they will remain or not, we don’t know,” said Booyens.
“But under the Trump administration, we saw a massive and also a morale lift. There was a morale lift within the nonprofits, our organization and the other 170 that we’re connected with, there was a general morale boost. We have support from the White House now. We actually now can see law enforcement departments talk to one another.’”
Booyens explained that the type of interdepartmental communication necessary to track down child predators was seen for the first time during the Trump administration.
“For instance, when a child is tracked in let’s say, Dallas, Texas, that pimp or predator doesn’t keep that child in Dallas, Texas.” Booyens said. “Now let’s say we find her in Nevada. You now are asking the Dallas Police Department to talk to the Nevada police department and that historically has not happened.
“We saw that kind of an inter-department communication line be open because of the result of Ivanka Trump, President Trump, and then, of course, the other people in that administration who made trafficking a focus.”
Booyens also noted that operations to combat sex trafficking still don’t have the resources they need, adding that the current state of the crime is now at its highest peak due to children spending more time online because of COVID-19.
Another alarming trend related to the escalation of this type of criminal activity is that there is a portion of society that promotes the sexualization of children.
“There is a large sector of our society, let’s just be real, that don’t see a problem with sexualizing children, with indoctrinating children in kindergarten with certain conditions and mindsets about sex and consent,” Booyens said.
“We’ve got multiple states in this country at the moment trying to lower their age of consent to 14, some have lowered it to 16. … Laws in those states are now in direct contradiction to statutory rape or in direct contradiction to the anti-sex-trafficking law in that state which says a child 17 and under is a victim.”
He concluded by saying that the children need to be taught to recognize suspicious behavior and that parents need to be genuinely involved with the different communities, video games, or online activities their children are engaged with in order to prevent others from introducing predatorial information to them.
Booyens was also interviewed by American Thought Leaders in January.