By Charlie De Mar

(CBS) — Police say you can help them fight sex trafficking with technology on your smart phone.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports.

“The rapes and the abuse and just the things I went through those 13 years I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” says Marelyn Garcia, a former victim of the sex-trafficking trade. “I was living a really messed up life strung out on drugs and alcohol.”

For over a decade, she worked the streets, a psychological and physical prisoner to a pimp

“It’s pretty much being brainwashed,” she says.

Now she works alongside Katrin Valencia at the Dream Center, rescuing girls off the streets of Chicago.

“The reality is that it is happening in every city and every community in the United States,” Valencia says.

Kim Ritter is behind the app “Traffickcam.” It asks everyday people staying in hotel rooms to snap a couple of pictures of their room and upload them to a massive database. Law enforcement  then can compare those photos with actual online sex trafficking ads — possibly rescuing a victim.

“This app is all about the rescue. It’s all about being used as evidence to hold pimps, traffickers responsible,” Ritter says.

The creators of the app say they have reached out to several cities to be part of the app’s beta testing, including the state’s attorney’s here in Cook County.


Charlie De Mar