SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A victim of child sex trafficking spoke exclusively to ABC4 News about how a father used his own daughter to befriend her and then exploit them both.
Joseph Moore was sentenced to two terms of five years up to life in prison for sex trafficking Bailey Orr, who was 16 years old at the time and exploiting his own adult daughter for prostitution.
Orr is now 18 and agreed to share her story in hopes of helping other potential victims.
Orr testified that she was befriended by Moore’s adult daughter, who then introduced her to Moore himself. Moore proposed that the two girls could make money through commercial sex work.
“At first it was just, we were going to hang out with older men and we were going to get paid to hang out with them,” explained Orr in a phone interview with ABC4’s Brittany Johnson.
But things took a dark turn.
Prosecutors say Moore advertised online for his adult daughter and Orr and would then set up “appointments” or “meetings” for them.
“He would drive us to appointments where we would be forced to sleep with countless men in exchange for money, which Joe would take a portion of,” Orr said.
“Sometimes maybe we’d go to one meeting and go get food and go home. Other times we would run around and I would go to 8 meetings in one day. And then we’d still be looking for more.” … “There were days I’d hurt so much I could barely walk.”
Orr said she self-medicated to ease the pain.
“I used a lot of pretty heavy drugs.”
“I took a lot of blame for a long time. Like, I introduced myself to these people, I spent my time around them, it was my fault that that happened to me because I put myself in that situation.”
Dan Strong, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Utah, says Moore took advantage of an innocent child’s vulnerability.
“Adults throughout society, we have a responsibility to children. If we find a child in a desperate situation that’s having a hard time, it’s our responsibility to help that child. The worst thing you can do is see a child in that position and think, “here’s a way I can make a buck.” And that’s what the defendant did in this case,” said Strong.
According to Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative, almost half of child trafficking cases begin with family member involvement.
“How come so many children are being lured into sex trafficking by their family members?” Johnson asked Strong.
“It’s probably a product of poverty, and desperation, and drug addiction — the opioid crisis. Unfortunately, this is a way people can make money, by exploiting their own children and that’s what we see,” replied Strong.
Orr says although she’s moved on, it’s going to take “a lifetime” to get over this horrific chapter.
“I still have those nights where I wake up and I can’t breathe and I’m in a sweat and tears,” she said.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888. You can also text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733.
The hotline is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.