Madam Speaker, Tonya was 13 years old when she met Eddie. They struck up a relationship and the two moved in together in Dallas, Texas.
But what seemed to be a ‘‘normal’’ relationship turned out not to be. Eddie turned Tonya into a sex slave.
Eddie sold Tonya to men for money. She was the victim of sex trafficking.
Night after night, Tonya was forced to be with potential suitors. With her body being used for profit and no escape in sight, Tonya had almost given up hope.
But help arrived when Homeland Security Special Agent Keith Owens receive a tip and the outlaw was arrested. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Tonya was freed from her shackles of modern-day slavery. This is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Madam Speaker, and our fight for Tonya and others is not over.
We must remain vigilant. Society has to rescue their victims, restore them, and put the slave masters in the jailhouse.
And that is just the way it is.