Wednesday, 10 January 2018 16:18

Human trafficking victims speak out Featured

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BANGOR - Statistics may be few and far between, but human trafficking does exist in Maine.

That's what survivors said Wednesday morning at the state house.

"My trafficker, like many other traffickers, trafficked humans, guns, and a deadly mix of heroin, fentanyl and xanax," Catherine Geren said Wednesday..

She says her story mirrors many victims, now survivors.

Maine's top law enforcement official says it's time to take a harder line on enforcement and

Prosecution of human traffickers, especially those using the internet to find their targets.

"To allow pimps and traffickers to use the internet to lure and entice 13- 14-year-old girls and others into a life of crime and victimization, we will not allow this to happen," said Maine Attorney General Mills.

One woman spoke of living an isolated, abusive existence.

"Some sex buyers were brutal but because they paid, i had to endure," said Carrie Dyer, a survivor who now heads the  national organization, Survivor Speak.

Many of the survivors say they were scared to go to the police for help while they were under the thumbs of the pimps or traffickers. More often than not, it was because they believed they were treated like criminals and not victims.

"One officer yelled at me and I don't even know what he was yelling about. I was afraid of them more than I was afraid of a pimp," Tiara Ross said.

Now, trafficking survivors are seeking state and federal laws to clean their criminal records of any crimes committed while forced to do so by a trafficker.

 

TJ Tremble

Reporter
[email protected]

T.J. Tremble joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 in March 2016.

He was raised in Bangor, attended Bangor schools and graduated from John Bapst High School. He attended the University of Maine, studying political science.

He started his news career at the Camden Herald, many years ago. He also worked for the Bangor Daily News in Rockland, Belfast and Bangor.

He entered broadcast journalism as news director for WQCB-FM, Brewer. For Many years he worked behind the scenes in radio and television.

Recently, he worked as a news reporter for Zone Radio Corporation in Bangor [WZON-AM, WKIT-FM and WZLO-FM.

He has received reporting awards from the Maine Press Association, Maine Association of Broadcasters and the Maine Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

He is married, with three adult children and two grandchildren.