A San Antonion man with ties to Southeast Texas is charged with selling sex with minors at a San Antonio motel. Bexar County District Attorney Nicholas ‘Nico’ LaHood says that it's a crime that he sees all too often.
According to the U.S Health Department, 25 percent of human trafficking in this country comes through Texas. LaHood says that his office is working on 40 to 60 sex trafficking cases at any given time.
“Eighty percent of our victims are children,” LaHood noted.
Case in point, 21-year-old Elijah Teel was arrested on Tuesday and charged with trafficking of a minor. An arrest report states that Teel placed ads on the site backpage.com to lure his victims.
Teel was a 2014 graduate of West Orange-Stark High School and was a starting linebacker on the 2013 Mustangs football team.
He was a finalist for the Willie Ray Smith award in 2014.
La Hood says that usually these types of cases involve runaways.
“Usually something is going on in the house,” he said. “Then you have these predators waiting in the wings, and they lure them… through fraud, deception, and coercion.”
Teel’s victims were runaways and had been reported missing. Teel and an accomplice are accused of renting the victims a room at an Econolodge off I-35.
According to SAPD, Teel set up sex dates for the girls and collected half of their money at the end of each day.
La Hood says that Bexar County's Human Trafficking Task Force works closely with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute these crimes aggressively.