Cumberland County rolls out state's first human-trafficking court

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Cumberland County steps up efforts against human trafficking
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Cumberland County steps up efforts against human trafficking.

FAYETEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cumberland County is the first county statewide to combat human trafficking by providing resources to victims. Every year millions of men, women and children are trafficked worldwide.

"They could be forced into prostitution," said District Court Judge Toni King.

Cumberland County officials are taking steps to fight back by creating the first statewide human trafficking court.

"We try to present them with services or things they may be missing to get them out of that life," King said. "We've not exactly identified that this person is connected to a pimp or someone of that nature, however, just by the nature of the crime itself that they could possibly have been a victim."

The Cumberland County district attorney told ABC11 that the county has led the state in human-trafficking charges in the past.

King will preside over the new court. The court will target offenders charged with survival crimes such as prostitution or solicitation.

The hope is to create success stories.

"Taking the numbers down from our criminal justice system and putting citizens back to work, giving them productive lives," King said of the goal.