Houston teen rescued from sex trafficking situation in 'nick of time'

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Monday, October 26, 2020
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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Precinct 5 is issuing a warning to parents after reportedly rescuing a Houston teenager being lured into human trafficking.

According to a post from Constable Ted Heap on Facebook, the 17-year-old victim's parents alerted authorities with concerns after their daughter left home on the evening of Oct. 16.

Precinct 5 deputies intercepted her car on her way to meet the suspect, 19-year-old Jacob St. John, at a west Houston motel, Heap said.

St. John was arrested at the motel in the 2100 block of South Highway 6 and charged with attempted human trafficking and compelling prostitution.

"Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery and millions of adults and children worldwide have been forced into a life of sexual exploitation," the constable wrote on Facebook.

The constable's office offered the following steps to parents to help protect their children:

  • Establish trust and communication with your children from day one
  • Talk to your children about the dangers of social media
  • Provide practical safety tips such as not sharing personal information on the internet
  • Do not accept social media requests from unknown people
  • Never share inappropriate photos
  • Teach children to understand what friendship means
  • Teach them a friend is not someone you met yesterday and that a "friend" on Facebook is not the same thing as a friendship
  • Monitor all online activity and cell phone use. As a parent, you may feel this is an invasion of privacy, but monitoring to whom your children are speaking is for their safety and protection
  • Question and monitor anyone who takes an unusual interest in your children
  • Know who your children are around on a regular basis
  • By being present, you will be able to identify an unfamiliar person and determine what their role is in your child's everyday life
  • Educate your children on human trafficking

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