CRIME

Refugee advocates still determining how to best help victims of illegal adoption ring

Oct 11, 2019, 6:52 PM | Updated: 8:43 pm
(Photo: Maricopa County)
(Photo: Maricopa County)

SALT LAKE CITY – The man accused of running an illegal adoption ring in Utah, Arizona and Arkansas has a federal court date set.  Paul Petersen will be in Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 29th.  He’s currently awaiting extradition in Arizona.

Meanwhile, victims’ advocates are extremely busy trying to help the women he illegally brought into the country.

Over the course of three years, officials say 40 women from the Marshall Islands were brought into the state of Utah to give birth for this adoption ring.  However, Asian Association of Utah Anti-Trafficking Program Director Andrea Sherman is not allowed to say how many are still here.

She is allowed to say there are many things these mothers might stand in need of.

Sherman says, “All of our resources are [given out] case by case.  There is not just one victim profile.  Victims have their unique needs and people react to trauma in different ways.”

Most of these women will need both prenatal and postnatal treatments.  Plus, Sherman says many will have to have some sort of mental health care, although some may need more intensive treatment than others.

“It’s not what we think the victims need.  It’s what they identify that they need,” she says.

Also, housing is a very big concern.  Frequently, traffickers will provide their victims with a place to stay.

“So, when someone leaves that trafficking situation, escapes or otherwise, their housing is lost as well,” Sherman says.

The association will also have to find things like interpreters, IDs, and safety planning.  Sherman says potential victims are still coming forward through the hotline set up by the state.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime

Photo of a SLCPD cruiser...
Devin Oldroyd

SLCPD arrest suspect following “highly coordinated” pursuit

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Following a highly coordinated and long search, the Salt Lake City Police Department safely arrested a 22-year-old suspect. According to a press release, Bhode Smith was booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on charges of Failure to Respond to an Officer’s Signal to Stop, Failure to Stop at […]
2 days ago
Flowers and stuffed animals are lined up outside a sign along Pullman Road in Moscow, Idaho, to pay...
Elizabeth Wolfe and Eric Levenson, CNN

‘Sketched out’ University of Idaho students return to campus from break with still no arrest in quadruple killings

More than two weeks since the deaths of 4 students near University of Idaho. With no suspect or arrest, "people are kind of sketched out" as they return from Thanksgiving break
2 days ago
Four Dead University of Idaho...
Aya Elamroussi, CNN

Authorities swat down rumors surrounding unsolved killings of 4 University of Idaho students

Authorities in a small Idaho city that had not recorded a murder in years are urging the public to be vigilant against rumors and conjectures surrounding the unsolved killings of four college students last month.
3 days ago
Authorities in Washington County are investigating the discovery of the body of a 36-year-old man e...
Mark Jones

Staff member at school in southern Utah arrested for alleged sexual abuse

A 22-year-old staff member of a school in southern Utah was arrested Thursday by the Washington County Sheriff's Office for alleged sexual abuse.
4 days ago
provo police car is pictured, the department is investigation a hit-and-run...
Samantha Herrera

21-year-old woman killed in Provo hit-and-run

21-year-old Isabelle Parr was identified as the victim of a hit-and-run in Provo on Thursday. Police believe she was hit while jogging.
4 days ago
Erin mendenhall and two men are pictured at a podium speaking about crime statistics in salt lake...
Samantha Herrera

Project Safe Neighborhoods successfully lowering crime according to Salt Lake leaders

Crime in Salt Lake City has been the focus of Project Safe Neighborhoods for the past two years. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall praised the project.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Refugee advocates still determining how to best help victims of illegal adoption ring