- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts State Police have formed a new unit to investigate incidents of human trafficking involving juveniles.

Republican Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the creation of the three-member team Tuesday.

Polito said the unit will work with the Department of Children and Families. It will also help local police departments on larger trafficking cases.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said social workers and other mandated reporters will also begin alerting DCF about cases of suspected trafficking.

She says the cases will be treated as child abuse and reported to the special state police unit and district attorney for investigation and prosecution.

Sudders says in the past, young people involved in the sex trade could be charged with prostitution instead of being treated as victims of abuse.


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