Advocate talks about how to help victims of child sex trafficking
A joint investigation between two Texas counties ended in the arrest of a 37-year-old woman Wednesday, accused of trying to sell a young female relative to men in Morocco for sex, according to a statement from the Freestone County Sheriff’s Department.
The woman charged is Amber Michelle Parker, according to jail records. She remained in Freestone County Jail Thursday, and was being held on a $25,000 bond.
The nature of Parker’s relation to the victim was not disclosed by officials from either Freestone or McClennan County, which assisted on the investigation, in an effort to keep the girl from being identified publicly.
Parker is an 8th grade reading teacher at Mexia Independent School District, according to the district’s website. Mexia is a town of about 8,000 residents that sits about 85 miles south of Dallas and 40 miles east of Waco.
“Family members got wind that Parker was going to try to lure this girl to Morocco,” McClennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said, according to the Waco Tribune. “It is a dastardly story, and it is trafficking at its worst.”
Parker traveled alone to Morocco on Jan. 1 to try to broker the deal, the newspaper reported.
She was communicating online with multiple men from Morocco about selling the young girl, according to the Freestone County statement. In order to entice the men and get a better price for the girl, she boasted that the girl was a virgin, and included photos of the girl in lingerie, showing the girl’s breasts, KWTX reported.
Authorities did not report on the price Parker was trying to get for her young relative, but they had been investigating the teacher “for months,” McNamara told KCEN, after Parker’s family members came forward with the tip.
The reading teacher was placed on administrative leave Wednesday by Mexia ISD, according to a statement obtained by the Tribune from superintendent Lyle DuBus.
“Student safety is Mexia ISD’s No. 1 priority,” the statement said. “We take these allegations seriously and we will be working closely with our partners in law enforcement. The district continues to monitor the situation and feels no students at Mexia Junior High were ever at risk.”