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Sex-trafficking arrests in Oregon result in Modesto girl, 15, being back with family

The difference between prostitution and sex trafficking

According to experts, it's important to understand the differences between prostitution, which is voluntary, and sex trafficking, which can trap victims with involuntary sex work.
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According to experts, it's important to understand the differences between prostitution, which is voluntary, and sex trafficking, which can trap victims with involuntary sex work.

A 15-year-old runaway from Modesto has been reunited with her family after being found in a Medford, Oregon, motel room, where she allegedly was a victim of sex trafficking.

Officers responded early Friday to a report by a parent of the girl that she was at the motel, Medford police reported Tuesday. The teen had been missing from her home since April 29.

Occupants of the room targeted by police initially were uncooperative, but eventually opened the door, the Medford Police Department posted on its Facebook page. Officers “rushed in” and found the missing girl, as well an 18-year-old woman from California and Stockton residents Lucious James Roy, 32, and Dawniel Santangelo, 41.

From their investigation, Medford detectives said they believe Roy and Santangelo acted together to transport the girl from California to Oregon, provide her with marijuana and engage her in prostitution.

Both were booked on charges of trafficking in persons, compelling prostitution and delivering marijuana to a minor. Roy’s bail was set at $300,000, Santangelo’s at $250,000.

The 18-year-old also is back with her family, police reported. A Medford police lieutenant told The Bee that she, too, is believed to be a sex-trafficking victim and is from the Stockton area.

In addition to law enforcement agencies, resources in Stanislaus County for victims of human trafficking include Haven Women’s Center and Without Permission.

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