Chatham Co. man arrested for sex trafficking teens

Man arrested on human trafficking charges in Savannah

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - A Chatham County man is in jail and facing human trafficking charges. The victims – two teenage girls.

The FBI made the arrest at a hotel early Wednesday morning.

WTOC spoke with a family member of one of the victims. Understandably, she did not want her name or face on camera, but she did say she cannot believe someone could do this to such young girls.

"It's just ridiculous that a 30-something man would have children doing such a thing. It's awful, just taking advantage of children," she said.

On Thursday, Timothy Dequon Lewis will spend his 32nd birthday in a jail cell. FBI agents say the Chatham County man prostituted a 13-year-old girl and a 16-year old girl. Savannah's Rape Crisis Center has been working with them.

"Sexual violence is a horrific crime. Rape; sexual assault; it is awful. It is particularly awful when it happens to those who are among our most vulnerable, being children," said Keisha Gibson-Carter, Executive Director, Rape Crisis Center.

Gibson-Carter says there are several common denominators when it comes to trafficking victims including: poverty, truancy from school, mental health diagnoses, low self-esteem, and children in the foster care system.

While most want to point a finger at the children's parents, Gibson-Carter also said that different local government agencies and social systems have not been stepping up.

"We have worked all day trying to get someone to just come and take the girls; to provide care for them. These are throwaways. Nobody wanted to come; no parents, no social systems. No one was there for us," she said.

Gibson-Carter hopes city leaders will direct more attention to the need for resources.

Meanwhile, that victim's family member wants others to pay attention to what their children are doing, so that this doesn't happen to them.

"Know what they are doing and the things they're putting out. You know, they are constantly on their cell phones, they're constantly on Facebook, they're constantly on Twitter; all of these things. Just make sure you know what your kids are doing," she advised.

According to sheriff's office records, Lewis has a long rap sheet in Chatham County, including charges involving sexual violence.

Lewis is currently sitting in the Chatham County Jail.

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