Woman’s Horrific First #Date Leads to #Rape, #Drugs, and #Sex #Trafficking


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Around the globe, more than 40.3 million people are victims of human trafficking. While slavery is illegal in the United States, criminals still kidnap and traffic victims within the country. Victims of human trafficking are used for forced labor or forced into commercial sex. Traffickers are ruthless in their tactics using debt bondage, manipulation, violence, and drugs to keep victims complaint. Recently a woman in Maryland used a dating app to meet a man. Within hours of meeting, the man raped the woman, injected her with drugs, and forced her into prostitution. Thankfully, the woman escaped and sought help from police. The man, Kyle Hillard, was arrested in August for the crimes against the victim.

According to reports, the victim met Hillard through a dating app called SKOUT. The app pairs individuals based on their GPS coordinates. Hillard and the victim spoke throughout the day. By the evening, Hillard convinced the victim to come to his home.

When the victim arrived, she told the police the two drank alcohol and smoked marijuana. She then said they had consensual sex. However, the situation turned dark after they finished having sex. Hillard admitted to the victim he recently completed a jail sentence. Also, he said he made money by selling drugs.

After the confession, the victim became scared and asked to leave. Hillard grabbed the woman by the neck and told her he owned her. Additionally, he told her she would make money for him.

Hillard then went to the kitchen to make drugs on the stove. He told her he was making “Mollie” and “meth.” While he made the drugs, he told her they would leave for New York shortly to obtain more drugs.

Throughout the night, Hillard refused to provide the victim. However, he did make her a drink. After she finished the drink, she fell unconscious.

Now, this is where the story gets dark and twisted for the victim. Hours later she wakes up in the basement. She told police that she woke up naked and she was laying on a bloody mattress. When she looked around, she saw a needle next to her. Next, she looked down at her arm, and she noticed an injection site. According to reports, the victim was not an IV drug user.

Disoriented she walked up the stairs to retrieve her cell phone. When she found her phone, she looked through her search history and photos. Horrified, she saw numerous images of her naked and unconscious. She also noticed numerous dating apps had been added to her phone.

The victim searched through the messages on the apps. In one of the apps, a man offered to pay $100 to have sex with her. The man said in the message he was in route to the home.

Later Hillard forced the woman to get dressed. He told her they needed to deliver drugs to clients. They took a Lyft to sell the drugs. While Hillard delivered drugs to clients, he left the victim unattended in the car. After a few stops, the victim fled out of the car and ran down an alley.

She called a for a Lyft of her own and sought help from police.

Shortly after her escape, she went to a local hospital for a rape examination. The same day the police executed a search warrant on Hillard’s home. During the search police located evidence consistent with the victim’s statements. Police arrested Hillard as a result of the search warrant.

Since August, Hillard has been held in Montgomery County, Maryland with no bond. He faces up to 55 years in prison for charges of second-degree rape, human trafficking, second-degree assault, and false imprisonment. His next court date is October 19th.

Pimps around the country use Internet dating apps and social media accounts. The issue is so widespread that several laws have been passed to protect victims trafficked through use of the app.

Earlier this year a law passed that holds apps and websites liable if victims are trafficked using their platforms. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA passed in March 2018.

Several smaller dating apps closed after the bill became a law. However, larger dating apps remain, and there is fear that pimps using the smaller apps will migrate to the larger dating apps. App owners that are found breaking the law can be punished by up to 10 years in prison.

Individuals using online dating apps must be diligent to ensure they remain safe. Meeting a stranger from the internet can pose a considerable danger. To stay safe while using online dating apps, follow these steps.

  1. Always tell someone that you are going to be meeting a person from online. Provide the individual details on the location and identity of the person you meet.
  2. Avoid using alcohol or drugs during your date. While a single beverage is fine, intoxication can lower your inhibitions and put you at risk for abuse or unwanted sexual encounters. Never allow your date to bring a drink to you. Make sure you get your own beverage.
  3. Meet in a public place. Try not to meet at the home of the person you are dating. Meeting up in a public space will provide you safety from the crowd.
  4. Limit the personal data you reveal. Until you know the person better, keep details of your home address or your whereabouts to yourself.
  5. Do some internet sleuthing before you meet. Google searches of person you intend to meet can reveal details about them that may be red flags. Checking their social media accounts can also help you learn more.

Thankfully for the victim, she was able to free herself from Hillard. Many victims are not as lucky and can spend years being sex-trafficked. If you use dating apps, make sure to be careful. Anyone can become a victim.

 

Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/withoutacrystalball/2018/10/13293/


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