In-depth: Shining a light on human trafficking, part one

Mar 6, 2019, 3:28 PM | Updated: Dec 31, 2020, 9:37 am

human trafficking part one...

Coco Berthman shared this photo on her Instagram profile.

Editorial note: This story is part one of a three part series on human trafficking in Utah. Find part two here, and part three here

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah college student who was a human trafficking victim is sharing her story,  as authorities try to get more of us to recognize the signs and help stop the problem.

Coco Berthman was born into human trafficking in Germany and says her own family did it to her.

“It is really common for children to be trafficked within their own family, because the younger the child, the more money the trafficker receives,” she said.

“Rape, gang rape, torturing, waterboarding, shame, forced drug use — these are the usual things they do,” she said.

She escaped by running away when she was 15. Now, ten years later, she is a student at LDS Business College and a board director for Arise Project for Humanity. The organization tries to help victims, and educate others on what to look for.

“It touches all business, all industry,”  said Berthman. “Transportation, hospitality, entertainment. And human trafficking is not a foreign issue. The biggest demand for child sex is in the US.”

At the Utah Attorney General’s Office, Daniel Strong is one of 8 full-time investigators assigned to uncover and prosecute human trafficking

“Trafficking for adult victims, is compelling them to work whether in sex or any form of labor, through force, fraud or coercion,” he explained. And he says it often happens right in someone’s own community.

“We may see it and not even know it. A trafficker could walk by with their victim and you wouldn’t know, until you hear their story,” said Strong.

Read more: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

FBI agent Douglas Hart, right, testifies Monday about texts between Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Da...


‘Angels are angry’: FBI agent describes ‘manipulating’ texts between Lori and Chad Daybell

BOISE — Jurors in the Chad Daybell murder trial heard testimony Monday from some key people in Lori Vallow Daybell’s life, and from an FBI agent who described “manipulative” texts between the couple. Colby Ryan, Lori Daybell’s oldest child, took deep breaths and some time from the witness stand before identifying photos of his sister, […]

8 hours ago

us supreme court shown, court hearing case on ghost guns...

MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

Supreme Court will take up the legal fight over ghost guns, firearms without serial numbers

The Supreme Court had previously intervened to keep regulation for gun ghosts in effect during a legal fight over the rules.

18 hours ago

former president trump, hush money trial opening statement started monday...


Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

The opening statements in the hush money trial marked the first time that prosecutors have presented a criminal case against a former president to a jury.

19 hours ago

Sextortion demographics explained...

Sky Mundell, |

Sextortion attempts occurring daily, Weber detective warns

Authorities in Weber County are urging parents to know the risks of allowing children unrestricted access to the internet after sextortion attempts.

21 hours ago

This composite image shows former President Donald Trump (center), Stormy Daniels (top left), Micha...

Kaanita Iyer, CNN

Here are the key players in Trump’s hush money trial

Originally Published: 15 APR 24 07:00 ET Updated: 21 APR 24 20:26 ET (CNN) — Opening statements in Donald Trump’s criminal New York hush money trial are set to begin Monday, more than a year after the former president was indicted in the case. The trial, which made its way swiftly through jury selection last week, is expected […]

1 day ago

A Draper police officer and two teenagers were in the hospital following a car wreck Saturday night...

Devin Oldroyd

Draper police officer, teenagers sent to hospital after car wreck

A Draper police officer and two teenagers were in the hospital following a car wreck Saturday night.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

In-depth: Shining a light on human trafficking, part one