Last Updated on June 24, 2022
A 17-year-old girl’s escape from a sex trafficker who had held her captive for over a year was caught on a security camera in a busy Plano, Texas city center in what’s only the latest public episode of human trafficking to make headlines in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
The video footage was recorded in broad daylight at Plano’s bustling Shops at Legacy, a popular urban shopping and entertainment center in January of 2021, and surfaced recently in the trial of a now-convicted human trafficker, Ricky Stevenson.
In the video, Stevenson can be seen stomping on the foot of his underaged white victim before punching her to the ground. Seconds later, Stevenson dragged her by her hair into the passenger side of his car, all in front of an eyewitness, who had appeared to start calling 911.
As Stevenson walked towards the driver’s side of his car, the young victim made an escape attempt, only to be thrown back into the vehicle and have the door slammed on her before jumping out of the car again and running towards a group of citizens who’d started trying to intervene.
After the girl finally freed herself, Stevenson, who had kidnapped and started sex trafficking her when she was only 16 years old, sped off. He was later caught and sentenced to 59 years in prison at trial on a number of felonies related to human trafficking, including sex crimes.
According to a statement from the prosecutor in Collin County, Texas, jury members heard from two other victims who Stevenson had sex trafficked and were shown a number of social media posts in which the self-described “pimp” brags of trafficking young girls, much to the delight and amusement of his Facebook friends. Interestingly enough, despite the open admissions from Stevenson online that he was sex trafficking young girls and holding them against their will, none of his posts appeared to have been picked up by Facebook “moderators,” who have increasingly come under fire for censoring conservative speech while allowing trafficking networks to operate on the platform with seeming impunity.
The case is the just latest horrifying example of human sex trafficking in North Texas and activists say that the underbelly of society has become well entrenched in the Dallas suburbs. As recently reported by National File, a 15-year-old girl from the suburb of North Richland Hills was kidnapped from a Dallas Mavericks game and taken out of state where she was raped and trafficked for days on end. While Dallas authorities and the NBA reportedly refused to act, an anti-trafficking non-profit located her, and contacted law enforcement where she was being held. Police executed a raid on an Oklahoma City hotel, freeing the girl and likely saving her life, arresting multiple suspects in the process.