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Ohio Man Pretending to be a Porn Producer Sentenced to Prison for Sex Trafficking Teens

By July 3, 2020 No Comments
Cover photo from the Department of Justice. Selections of this article were originally published on Newsweek by Kashmira Gander in December 2018. 4 minute read.

Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative nonprofit that educates on the harmful effects of porn. This month during our #StopTheDemand campaign, we're shining a light on the porn industry's link to sexual exploitation, including sex trafficking. Click here to learn more.

An Ohio man was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he pretended to be a porn film producer to trick underage girls into performing sex acts with him on camera.

Charles Thomas Barbarotta of the city of Norwalk previously pleaded guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, according to the Department of Justice. The 33-year-old persuaded teenagers to engage in sex acts with him in December 2016 by falsely claiming the encounters were being shot for a pornograhpic film he was creating and/or directing.

U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman told Newsweek:

“This case is a cautionary tale for teens and parents alike. For teens, it’s a reminder that people are not who they seem to be—particularly on the internet. For parents, it’s a reminder that their children’s brains are still developing and they may be more gullible than we think. The key is open communication.”

Herdman told News 5 Cleveland: “The promise was he would make them into movie stars, albeit pornographic movie stars.”

It’s worth noting that even if this individual were a real porn producer, his actions would not be acceptable.

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Was it isolated an incident?

Stephen D. Anthony, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said in a statement: “We are pleased this child predator will be behind bars for a significant amount of time.”

Barbarotta is feared to have targeted other victims using similar tactics, according to a statement on the case released last year by the Department of Justice. Those with information are encouraged to contact the FBI at 419-243-6122.

Related: How One Teen’s Dream “Modeling Opportunity” Turned Into A Sex Trafficking Nightmare

Herdman told Newsweek: “We said at the time of this arrest that we were concerned there could be more victims out there. While no additional charges were filed as part of this case, it’s hard to believe it was his first time doing this.”

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Not the only sex trafficker under the guise of porn production

This shines a light on how absolutely helpful and important it is to speak up and speak out, especially if you have any suspicious interaction with someone you don’t know, in person or online. And as social media continues to be our generation and the next’s main form of communication, it’s essential that we’re continuously on the lookout for anyone or anything that doesn’t seem right.

RelatedUber Driver Rescues Underage Sex Trafficking Victim

The truth is, sex trafficking is everywhere, including the porn industry. And sometimes the porn industry is used as a cover for sex traffickers, like in this case. The problem is that porn is so celebrated and normalized, it can be difficult to tell who is behind the camera, and why.

We now know that one of the industry’s dirty little secrets is it’s not all totally consensual.

We are not claiming that all porn is non-consensual, but rather, raising awareness that there is often no way to tell if the porn a consumer views is completely consensual or produced with coercion.

And if you’re still not convinced content on mainstream sites isn’t all consensual, read this Jezebel.com storythis story on Daily Beastthis story on Complex.comthis Rolling Stone storythis Daily Beast storythis Bustle.com storythis story on CNNthis NY Post storythis Gizmodo.com storythis BBC reportthis Florida Sun-Sentinel reportthis Daily Wire storythis Buzzfeed News profileand this UK Independent story for further proof that the mainstream porn industry features nonconsensual videos and videos of trafficked individuals. And yes, this includes videos on Pornhub and other mainstream porn sites.

Obviously, human trafficking is an underground business, making firm statistics hard to come by, but the facts in cases that do come to light are chilling.

For example, in 2011, two Miami men were found guilty of spending five years luring women into a human trafficking trap. They would advertise modeling roles, then when women came to try out, they would drug them, kidnap them, rape them, videotape the violence, and sell it to pornography stores and businesses across the country. [1]

RelatedHow Teens Get Tricked And Trafficked Every Day Into Doing Porn

That same year a couple in Missouri was charged with forcing a mentally handicapped girl to produce porn for them by beating, whipping, suffocating, electrocuting, drowning, mutilating, and choking her until she agreed. One of the photos they forced her to make ended up on the front cover of a porn publication owned by Hustler Magazine Group. [2]

Those cases are only the tip of the iceberg; many more like them exist, and for each victim discovered, countless others suffer in silence. [3]

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No community is immune

If there’s one thing that always hits home with every human trafficking story we hear, it’s that no community is immune. This is a widespread problem that happens not just in big cities, but in neighborhoods and towns all across the world.

Sex trafficking is a global issue in local communities, and it’s up to us to speak out about it and raise awareness.

RelatedHow Porn Fuels Sex Trafficking

As porn is becoming more normalized, and as sex traffickers are finding new ways to lure victims into exploitation, these issues should be openly talked about in middle schools, junior highs, and high schools. We need to expose not only the dangerous world of human trafficking, but also the link of how porn fuels trafficking and how the two are inseparably connected.

Citations

 [1] U.S. Department Of Justice. (2012). Two Men Sentenced To Multiple Life Sentences For Enticing Women To South Florida To Engage In Commercial Sex Acts And Distributing Date Rape Pills. Press Release, Feb. 17.
[2] Peters, R. W., Lederer, L. J., And Kelly, S. (2012). The Slave And The Porn Star: Sexual Trafficking And Pornography. In M. Mattar And J. Braunmiller (Eds.) Journal Of Human Rights And Civil Society 5: 1-21; U.S. Attorney’s Office For The Western District Of Missouri. (2010). Woman Tortured As Slave, Victim Of Trafficking And Forced Labor. Press Release, September 9. Http://Www.Justice.Gov/Usao/Mw/News2010/Bagley.Ind.Htm
[3] Peters, R. W., Lederer, L. J., And Kelly, S. (2012). The Slave And The Porn Star: Sexual Trafficking And Pornography. In M. Mattar And J. Braunmiller (Eds.) Journal Of Human Rights And Civil Society 5: 1-21.
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