5 children 12 or under were trafficked.
An update from the Ohio Network of Children's Advocacy Centers reports another 21 sex trafficking victims were found,five of them12 years old or younger.
The new numbers for April to June bring to 72 the total number of victims identified statewide over a 12-month periodundera state contract to screen children referred by law enforcement, children's services agencies and others, to determine whether they may have been trafficked.
Of the 21 newly idenfied victims, 7 were 18 or older, including one developmentally disabled person.Some of the agencies in the network also handle adult cases. Of the14 minor victims, 9were 13 to 18, and one was under the age of 6, according to Amy Deverson Roberts of the children's advocacy network.
The Dispatch previously reported about51 initial cases, including some in which parents trafficked their own children in exchange for cash, rent or drugs. Somecases have been referrred forprosecution and others are pending. Officials said they cannotrelease specifics about any cases.
The network has a$523,000, two-year grant from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to provide training to detect signs of trafficking,put on education programs, andhandle child referrals. The grant came from a trafficking task force created in an executive order by Gov. John Kasich.
Officials estimate that 1,100 children are forced into the sex trade each year in Ohio; 13 is the most common age for children to be victimized.
Trafficking victims can get help by calling a national hotline, 1-888-373-7888, or texting the word INFO to 233733.