Posted at: 06/22/2012 11:46 PM
| Updated at: 06/23/2012 8:30 AM
By: Dan Levy
COLONIE - The overnight arrest of an alleged pimp and his 14-year-old prostitute in Colonie is shining a light on what has become a world-wide sex trade enterprise. Colonie Police say they've suspected for a long time that Darren Bostick has been involved in the sex trade business in their community, now they believe they have enough evidence to put him out of business for a long time.
While on routine patrol, working the overnight shift, two Colonie police officers spotted suspicious activity in the parking lot of a Super 8 Motel at 1579 Central Avenue.
The officers watched, and then followed as a car drove across the street to the Days Inn across the street. That's where they arrested 27-year old Darren Bostick, along with a young girl, 14, who was with him.
"We certainly are surprised," said Colonie Police Lieutenant Robert Winn. "This is extremely rare here for a 14-year-old involved in prostitution."
That 14-year-old was reported missing from Saint Anne's Institute for troubled youth in Albany nearly two weeks earlier. She and two others ran away on June 10, spending some time wandering the streets, or staying with friends.
Then by chance, police say, the girl ran in to Darren Bostick outside a liquor store where they began talking and then started to hang out.
"It progressed to the point where he ultimately took her to the town of Colonie, set her up in a motel, and used her as a prostitute," Winn said.
Winn say police believe there may have been other girls in Bostick's employ.
The case shines a light on what the U.S. State Department says is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. After drugs, child sex trafficking is the world's second largest criminal enterprise, taking in $12 billion a year.
"In our experience, I think it's part of a larger thing," said Andy Gilpin, Director of Program Services at CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services in Clifton Park. He says many of the runaways he deals with tell stories similar to the Colonie scenario.
Gilpin says surveys indicate that one out of three runaways will be approached within 48 hours by someone in the sex trade.
"There are predators out there that are looking for kids in vulnerable situations," he points out. "Runaways are some of the most vulnerable and on the other side, runaways, unfamiliar with the area, not sure where they'll get shelter or food, they participate in survival sex and it's a tragic, tragic situation."
The Colonie arrest comes just four days before the Capital Region hosts its first ever "Human Trafficking Task Force" meeting. Experts from around the country will be in Albany on Tuesday for that seminar.
Meanwhile, Darren Bostick was in the Albany County Jail Friday night, unable to raise $25,000 in bail. The 14-year-old, charged as a juvenile, is in a local youth holding facility.