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Sex trafficking escape in Seattle shines a spotlight on brutal conditions faced by the entrapped

Cars drive by the Emerald Motel in North Seattle on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. Prosecutors say a 20-year-old woman made a harrowing escape from her vicious pimp outside the motel on the night of Saturday, Nov. 5, before being rescued by a ride-share driver who engaged in a gunfight with the man. (Gene Johnson/AP)
Cars drive by the Emerald Motel in North Seattle on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. Prosecutors say a 20-year-old woman made a harrowing escape from her vicious pimp outside the motel on the night of Saturday, Nov. 5, before being rescued by a ride-share driver who engaged in a gunfight with the man. (Gene Johnson/AP)

A recent escape by a 20-year-old sex trafficking victim from her alleged pimp shines the spotlight on the horrific conditions faced by those entrapped. In Seattle, Winston Burt faces several charges in a human trafficking case.

The woman jumped from a third-story window to escape but was still forced into Burt’s car. She again escaped, crawling onto a highway, where she lay until an Uber driver stopped to help her.

Once in the Uber, the alleged assailant opened fire on the car — but the Uber driver, also armed, fired back. Eventually, the Uber got away, and the woman got the medical help she required.

Robert Beiser is the director of the Strategic Initiative on Sex Trafficking at Polaris, a non-profit working to prevent sex and labor trafficking. He talks to Here & Now‘s Robin Young about the big picture of trafficking in the U.S. Young is also joined by Seattle Times reporter Sara Jean Green, who’s been covering the story.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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