In April, word broke about a sex-trafficking victim who had been abducted at a Dallas Mavericks game at American Airlines Center. Now, the 15-year-old girl’s parents are breaking their silence to speak out about what happened.
Kyle and Brooke Morris spoke with ESPN and “Good Morning America” about their daughter’s story, which they hope can be a cautionary one about the dangers of human sex trafficking and how the current laws are applied to it.
“We just want to make sure people understand … that something like this can happen to anyone anywhere,” Kyle Morris said. “Even if you don’t think it’s possible, there’s people out there that they want to make it happen.”
Kyle had taken his 15-year-old girl to a Mavericks game on April 8 when she left him to use the restroom and was found 10 days later in an Oklahoma City hotel room. Local police found the girl following assistance from the non-profit Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative, which tracked down images of her on a website used for prostitution.
Six women and two men were arrested in connection with the case and charged with offenses ranging from rape to human trafficking and distribution of child pornography to offering to engage in prostitution to outstanding warrants.
The couple says that their daughter is now safe and recovering from the traumatic experience. Brooke said that their daughter encountered other victims of human trafficking and wondered how long they’d been held captive and whether anyone was looking for them.
The couple criticized the way that American Airlines Center security and Dallas police handled the situation, saying that the way some of the procedures were followed led to a delayed response and caused confusion on how the family was supposed to seek help.
Last month, the family’s lawyer filed a notice of pending litigation related to the incident and failures to prevent it. The Mavericks, American Airlines Arena, the Dallas Police Department and the hotel where the girl was allegedly held were all named in the notice.