Fairfax, VA — Police officers in America, we are told, are here to protect the public and put people in jail who cause harm to others. All too often, however, as the following case illustrates, police officers become the ones from which society needs protecting. The Fairfax County Police department is the perfect example. Instead of protecting women from dangerous sex traffickers, officers were actually participating in the trafficking and protecting the bad guys while preying on the young women.
According to a federal lawsuit filed this week by prominent civil rights attorney Victor Glasberg, the corruption within the department ran all the way up to the department’s chief, Ed Roessler. Officers were allowed to have their way with the sex trafficking victims in exchange for protecting the modern day slave owners.
Glasberg filed the suit on behalf of a woman who was ensnared in the sex trafficking ring, who had been taken from Costa Rica and trafficked by the group.
The woman was lured from her home in Costa Rica with promises of a job that did not involve sex. However, when she arrived in the US, the traffickers took her passport and she was forced into commercial sex.
According to the lawsuit, the sex traffickers threatened to kill the woman’s family in Costa Rica if she tried to escape. While being held hostage, she was forced to have sex with up to 17 people every single day of her life. These were the people the police were protecting.
According to the lawsuit, officers within the department would protect the traffickers by tipping them off to investigations and the ring would suspend activities and go dark as not to attract attention.
Glasberg said he has interviewed officers who corroborated the the victim’s claims. Even when good cops in the department tried to stop it, they were told to look the other way.
One whistleblower cop named two other officers on top of the chief who provided cover for the sex traffickers. Those officers are Michael O. Barbazette of Manassas and Jason J. Mardocco of Gainesville.
According to a report from NBC 4, both of those officers have left the force. Glasberg told the news outlet that he tried to negotiate with the department to settle the suit without going to court, but instead of being transparent about officers aiding human traffickers, they circled the wagons and refused to cooperate.
According to NBC 4:
Glasberg said he tried for months to negotiate with the county to avoid filing a lawsuit, because he believes a trial will be an emotional burden for his client. While he’s seeking a monetary settlement for his client, Glasberg said his primary effort in negotiations was to ensure some level of accountability for the officers, but his negotiations were unsuccessful.
“I begged the county to resolve this without litigation. I said, ‘Let’s get some accountability here,'” he said. “In the end, they told me to go pound sand. … This lawsuit is going to be difficult for my client, but it’s going to be a whole lot more difficult for the county.”
According to Glasberg, the police whistleblower, William Woolf told him that he tried to stop the officers from protecting the sex traffickers but he was threatened and told to “play ball.”
Woolf told Glasberg that the chief, himself, called him, saying, “I need to make sure you’re willing to play ball,” according to the lawsuit.
Ironically enough, Roessler received praise from politicians and activists for his efforts at transparency and his willingness to support criminal charges against officers accused of wrongdoing — whilst aiding human traffickers in the process.
Though the chief and his two accomplices have left the department, neither of them are facing any charges. This is your security force, America.