Sex trafficking survivor works with state Sen. Biaggi after bill is vetoed
After a veto stopped a sex trafficking bill in its tracks, a survivor has found a state senator to help her message complete the final steps in getting it into law.
Monique Riley is a sex trafficking survivor and the CEO and Founder of Freedom Youth NYC LLC. Riley was just 12 years old when she says she was groomed by a peer at school into becoming what she describes as a "sex slave."
"My body parts were not even developed. So a lot of the times when I was engaging with these men, they knew I was a child. I think that's the worst part," said Riley.
Riley says it went on without anyone knowing at first, but eventually she managed to get out. She's since linked up with state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi's office to propose a bill that would require all city public transportation workers to be trained in spotting the signs of sex trafficking.
Biaggi says human traffickers often hide their victims in plain sight, bringing them in and around the city on buses and subways.
However, the bill was recently vetoed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. The veto message reads in part, "The New York Interagency Task Force Against Human Trafficking has already developed the training that meets the minimum requirements of this bill, which is currently available for employees of the public transportation system."
Sen. Biaggi says while the training might be available, but it's not being mandated. "Listen, if we care about the safety and well-being of every single New Yorker, we do this," said Biaggi.
Both of them say this isn't the end of the bill.