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Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:19PM - 193 Views
Ralph B. Davis
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PRESTONSBURG — A workshop will be held today to discuss ways local residents can help stop human trafficking.


Although the practice of human trafficking might seem like a rarity, Kentucky had its first human trafficking conviction earlier this year. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported July 25 that Marco Antonio Flores-Benitez was sentenced to 15 years in prison, after becoming the first person in the state convicted of the crime.


According to the newspaper, Flores-Benitez lured Spanish-speaking women with promises of legitimate work, then forced them to perform sex acts for money.


At today’s workshop, presenter Marissa Castellanos, MSW, will offer tips on how to identify and report cases of human trafficking. Castellanos is human trafficking program manager with Catholic Charities of Louisville.


Registration for the workshop begins at 9 a.m. at the Wilkinson-Stumbo Convention Center, at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. The workshop lasts from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. A box lunch will be provided.


The conference is free and anyone interested in the subject is welcome to attend. Organizers particularly hope to see law enforcement officers, medical personnel, social workers, parents, teachers, case managers and community leaders.


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