Sex trafficking occurs when a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion if the victim is 18 years of age or older. Any minor who performs a commercial sex act is defined, under federal and Tennessee law, as a victim of sex trafficking, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion.
The term “commercial sex act” is the giving or receiving of anything of value (money, drugs, shelter, food, clothing, etc.) to any person in exchange for a sex act. Commercial sex acts may include prostitution, pornography, and sexual performance.
Some forms of sex trafficking include pimp-controlled trafficking, gang-controlled trafficking, or familial trafficking. In some cases, minors engage in ‘survival sex’ in order to meet basic needs such as food or shelter.