According to a post from Constable Ted Heap on Facebook, the 17-year-old victim’s parents alerted authorities with concerns after their daughter left home on the evening of Oct. 16.
Precinct 5 deputies intercepted her car on her way to meet the suspect, 19-year-old Jacob St. John, at a west Houston motel, Heap said.
St. John was arrested at the motel in the 2100 block of South Highway 6 and charged with attempted human trafficking and compelling prostitution.
“Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery and millions of adults and children worldwide have been forced into a life of sexual exploitation,” the constable wrote on Facebook.
The constable’s office offered the following steps to parents to help protect their children:
- Establish trust and communication with your children from day one
- Talk to your children about the dangers of social media
- Provide practical safety tips such as not sharing personal information on the internet
- Do not accept social media requests from unknown people
- Never share inappropriate photos
- Teach children to understand what friendship means
- Teach them a friend is not someone you met yesterday and that a “friend” on Facebook is not the same thing as a friendship
- Monitor all online activity and cell phone use. As a parent, you may feel this is an invasion of privacy, but monitoring to whom your children are speaking is for their safety and protection
- Question and monitor anyone who takes an unusual interest in your children
- Know who your children are around on a regular basis
- By being present, you will be able to identify an unfamiliar person and determine what their role is in your child’s everyday life
- Educate your children on human trafficking
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