It's a case State police are calling shocking and disturbing. Monday, 37-year-old Katherine Vidrine was arrested for allegedly forcing a child younger than 12 to perform sexual acts so she could get money.
Investigators say this is the first human trafficking case to originate and take place right here in Acadiana. But, the statistics show it's a rising tide in Louisiana. So could you spot the warning signs? If so what can you do to stop it.
“This is a case that is very disturbing,” says Trooper Stephen Hammons.
Katherine Vidrine is charged with human trafficking and molestation after someone came forward a few weeks ago to alert authorities.
“Vidrine was transporting the child victim to different locations for sexual purposes,” explains Hammons.
Hammons says the crimes happened several years ago when the child was less than 12 years old. Vidrine would basically make house calls around Lafayette parish where the victim would perform sex acts for money and things of value, while the 37 year old was in the room.
“Unfortuntately, children do get sexually abused they are victimized by people that they love most often the abuse is usually by someone they love and they trust,” explains Courtney Lanclos.
Lanclos is with CASA, a child advocacy group. She says this case is unique for the fact this child was sold off to other people. She explains in most scenarios a child can either be brainwashed, or threatened by an adult they trust.
“Typically the child would believe that they're not to tell anyone or that what's happening to them is normal, it's ok they're convinced,” explains Lanclos.
Lanclos says there are signs a child will exhibit if they are being sexually abused such as stand offness with adults and other kids, as well as age inappropriate behavior.
According to Hammons from what they know the victim was in view of the public and on the surface had a normal life.
“Besides the crimes that were occurring nothing else stood outside of the ordinary,” affirms Hammons.
State police are expecting to make more arrests in this case as the victim is helping to identify more suspects.
Ryan Mccauley identified as one of the suspects involved, He's already in jail for a 2012 plea to indecent behavior with a juvenile.
If you do suspect a child is being abused you can call, 1-855-4 LA KIDS.