Raven SantanaFeb 1, 2018, 8:21 pmFeb 6, 2018, 2:19 pm

Elizabeth man's arrest sheds light on human trafficking in New Jersey

Milton Valentine, 47, has been accused of forcing two 18-year-old girls into prostitution

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NEWARK — Milton Valentine, 47, of Elizabeth has been accused of allegedly forcing two 18-year-old girls into prostitution, according to authorities.

The arrest has workers at Covenant House, which provides food, shelter, and immediate crisis care services to homeless and trafficked youth between the ages of 18 and 21, speaking out on the issue of human trafficking.

"The large majority of those kids don't really want to prosecute because of their own fear for their lives and also, too, that it's something in their past and something they're trying to move away from," said Jim White, the Executive Director of Covenant House.

Staff at Covenant House say that nearly 20 percent of the youth they serve have either been trafficking or participated in survival sex.

"Anyone is susceptible to being trafficked, regardless of your age, race, socio-economic status, education," said Monica Kristen of the Dreamcatcher program. "So us coming together to understand the risks as well as the red flags for being trafficked is really key."

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