Starting this summer, former Connecticut Speaker of the House Jim Amann, D-Milford, will release episodes of his 13-part series Turnpike Chronicles in hopes of shining a light on the issue of domestic sex trafficking of minors.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 U.S. children are forced to engage in prostitution or pornography annually. Amann said the reality of what these children face is so “blatantly horrible and disgusting,” that even his series is “a generic truth” compared to what happens. “It’s been a tough line to walk on,” he said. “Even as bad as the first scenes are, some of the scenes that we’re going to be depicting in the series, which are going to be tough to watch, even that has been watered down from what the real reality is.”
Based on Raymond Bechard’s book, The Berlin Turnpike: A Story of Human Trafficking in America, Amman’s documentary series will explore three “types” of young girls and follow how the girls get involved with a pimp. In the series, one girl will be abducted from her home, another will be a party-goer, and the last will be a homeless drug addict, Amann said.
Amann has championed several initiatives around public safety and children. He was the architect of the state’s “Megan’s Law” in 1995, was involved with the task force on human trafficking, and testified in support of a bill that would hold media publishers responsible for “escort” advertisements of ads that sexually exploit minors.
Amann said he was able to use his role as a legislator to make some changes involving domestic sex trafficking, and he hopes to use his passion for filmmaking to raise awareness in a different way.
“Hopefully on the artistic side, we’ll bring it enough justice for people to see this and say, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this is happening in our own state and our own nation, and maybe get some more advocates to stand up to fight for these kids,” he said.
Learn more at Rachel Chinapen’s New Haven Register article: Connecticut’s ex-House Speaker Jim Amann to produce series on sex trafficking.