BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota lawmakers on Wednesday took extensive testimony on a series of bills aimed at addressing the issue of human trafficking in the state. Many took on a victim-centered approach as advocated by the state's attorney general, Wayne Stenehjem.
WASHINGTON — As local police chiefs and sheriffs gathered in Minot to discuss increased crime in North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp interjected when one cited a spike in prostitution.
As a truck driver more than 20 years ago, Larry Medhurst traveled at times with other truckers who wanted to stop by a brothel in Nevada if they were passing through the area.
Plans to invest in law enforcement and strengthen human trafficking laws appear to have support as North Dakota’s legislative session begins this week, although proposals to expand victim services still lack the promise of funding.
Rowena Mathews threw herself a two-day party when she turned 30 last summer, soaking up every minute of fun at a lakeside barbecue.
You identify a young woman, a girl maybe, lured or coerced into a life of sex for money in the hard, scrambling towns of the North Dakota oil boom. You see her, reach her, offer her hope for something better, and she says yes, please, help me.
After nearly three decades in the life, Jenny Gaines thought she would die a prostitute. She really didn’t think she’d make it much into her 40s.
Ding. The arrival of texts and emails sounds repeatedly from phones and laptops in this bustling suite on the fourth floor of one of Bismarck’s nicer hotels.
Jenny Gaines’ mother remembers a child who organized neighborhood activities, got involved in acrobatics and theater and did homework with “Little House on the Prairie” on TV in the background.
Talking to seventh-graders in the small town of Scranton, N.D., this past November, Windie Lazenko told students that even they aren’t immune from pimps.
Since 2009, prosecutions through the office of Brendan Johnson, U.S. attorney for South Dakota, have put three traffickers in prison for life — the most of any federal district.
Before she ever visited North Dakota during the oil boom, Jenny Gaines posted an ad on Backpage “just to see” if men would call her phone.
Juveniles who engage in commercial sex in North Dakota would be considered victims and not face punishment under a new bill drafted for introduction at the 2015 state Legislature.
“Amy” walks into the hotel lobby, thinking she is meeting a man who had arranged to pay $300 for sex on an out-call basis.
A young woman tells domestic violence advocates she feels trapped with an older man. He’s the only person who can inject her with the heroin to which she’s addicted.
The seed for prostitution was planted before Jenny Gaines met “Alexander,” her first pimp, at an arcade in downtown Minneapolis.
NEW TOWN, N.D. — As the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation reels from the impacts of producing a third of North Dakota’s oil, the reservation must add human trafficking to its list of increasing hazards.
It was the early 1980s, and the evolving Block E of downtown Minneapolis had life, with hustlers and prostitutes interspersed with the suit-and-tie crowd that spilled out of skyscrapers at 5 o’clock.
Seven men — some enraged, some embarrassed, some ashamed — crowd holding cells in the jail just across the interstate from the Best Western hotel in Dickinson, N.D.
In the Twin Cities suburb of Columbia Heights, Minn., police officers say they know about North Dakota. Their detective colleagues at the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office know that when a local girl goes missing, to check North Dakota’s Backpage ads.