A study of sex trafficking around the United States ranked the metro Atlanta area No. 1, in part because of the many conventions held in the city.
The report, conducted by Washington D.C.'s Urban Institute for the U.S. Justice Department, looked at the sex trade in eight major American cities and found that Atlanta had the largest sex trade between 2003 and 2007.
"Atlanta went from $232 million to $290 million over that five year span," Meredith Dank, the lead author for the report, told WSB Radio. As a comparison, $290 million is more than the revenue generated by metro Atlanta's illegal drug and gun trade combined.
Atlanta's revenue also was far above any other city studied, with Miami second at $200 million. Denver's sex trade was worth $40 million, San Diego's $97 million and Dallas' $99 million. Seattle came in at $112 million and Washington, D.C. at $103 million.
Why is Atlanta No. 1? Dank says the many events and conventions bring people to town with lots of time and money. Some escorts charge more than $1,000 per hour.
One pimp the researchers spoke with in Atlanta made, on average, about $33,000 a week, according to the WSB story.
According to FBI statistics, Atlanta ranks among the top 14 cities in the United States for domestic minor sex trafficking. And some 300 girls across Atlanta are lured into trafficking every month.
Trending on Patch is a category showcasing popular stories from across Patch's network of 900 local news sites.