Foster girls, victims of sex trafficking, abused at Texas shelter

The Refuge for DMST will be holding a press conference today to address 'some misinformation.’ The state shelter said it will be as transparent as it can be, considering both the need to protect the children's privacy and the open investigations.

The press conference will be held at 12 p.m. CT. 

FOX 7 Austin will carry the press conference here and on Youtube. 


Foster girls, victims of sex trafficking, abused at Texas shelter

Victims of sex trafficking at a recovery facility in Bastrop called The Refuge were re-victimized by the facility's employees who were supposed to protect them, according to The Texas Tribune.

The paper reports that seven children ages 11 to 17 were victims of various kinds of abuse. At least two of the children became the subject of nude photographs. 

The employee who took the pictures sold them for money, which he or she used to purchase illegal drugs and alcohol that were given to the kids.

Nine other suspects are involved in the abuse allegations. 

The identity of the suspects and the victims has not been released.

The children were not immediately removed from the facility, despite the initial report of abuse coming out on January 24.

U.S. District Judge Janis Jack blamed DFPS for not getting the kids out sooner at a hearing on Thursday. She is requesting the identities of the suspects be released by noon Friday.

Jack is overseeing a class action lawsuit against DFPS that has been ongoing since 2011.

According to the Texas Tribune, at least 23 children died in long-term foster care facilities licensed by the state of Texas from 2019 to 2021.

A spokesperson for The Refuge released a statement saying part: "When we were made aware that an employee had allegedly coerced the residents into creating commercially sexual exploitation material the employee was immediately terminated. We are fully cooperating with authorities."

If you or someone you know has been sexually abused or assaulted you can receive confidential help by calling The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network 24/7 at 800-656-4673.


U.S. judge slams state's handling of foster care system: 'Texas was not prepared'
Analysis: Texas’ foster care problems are clear. The response from state leaders isn’t
Texas foster care children exposed to sexual abuse, given wrong medication, neglected in unlicensed placements

SUBSCRIBE: Daily Newsletter | YouTube
FOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter