It’s the last thing young women selling themselves for sex are expecting: a pastor who prays for them and leaves them with a condom – with an emergency number written on it. The girls can call if they want to get out.
Every other Friday night, at an undisclosed parking lot somewhere in Orange County, Pastor Kevin Brown is on a mission. For thirty years, he was a Santa Ana Police detective. Now, he’s a pastor, going through backpage.com, gathering his flock and going undercover to save victims of human trafficking – one girl at a time. “There was such a misconception that the girls were just a prostitute; they were just a whore. But the bottom line is that’s not true at all. These girls are all victims,” Brown says. “That’s why God brings us to these girls; because someone’s praying for them.”
Joined by Greg Reese, a former Huntington Beach Police officer and member of the Orange County Sex Crimes Task Force, the two retired detectives train volunteers to identify and assist victims of human trafficking. “Stephanie”is one young girl they helped save. Stephanie came to Santa Ana looking for quick cash stripping, but she never dreamed she would end up selling herself for sex. She was trapped in a motel room one floor below her trafficker, where she says he raped her and then forced her to take on clients. She was there just two days when Reese responded to an ad. Stephanie waited for her trafficker to run an errand. That’s when Greg led her safely to the group of waiting rescuers.
“I thank God for them every day, for getting me out of there. For helping other girls like myself,” she says.
There’s no way to know just how many other lives this group may have touched or saved, but every other Friday night, Brown and his volunteers won’t stop trying.
Learn more at the CBS Los Angeles article: Cop-Turned-Pastor On A Mission To Rescue Human Trafficking Victims In OC.