Indy 500 size crowds can attract sex traffickers

(NETWORK INDIANA)   Large events like the Indy 500 sometimes bring out one of the nastiest elements of humanity: pimps who have children available for sex. If you see it happening in an area around the Speedway, or around a motel, you can help by reporting it.

“We do take specific interest in large sporting events. It is drawing those large crowds with a large amount of expendable cash,” said Bob Lowery, vice president of the National Centers for Missing and Exploited Children.

The crowd at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest one-day single sporting event in the world, and may number as much as 400,000 people. The pimps hope to attract the few who would trade cash for sex with an underage person.

Lowery said if you encounter someone who may be held captive for sex, there are usually some signs.

“It’s usually teenage girls, sometimes boys, who are accompanied with someone else. The children are often going to be withdrawn,” he said. “The children may show signs of physical abuse, bruises, cuts, maybe they’ve been victims of some kinds of violence. When you speak to the child often times who theey’re accompanied with may be stepping in and answering for them.”

Lowery said the pimps don’t want the kids to talk and let anyone know they’re being held against their will.

“You really need to report that to law enforcement and make them aware,” said Lowery. “I’m speaking as a former law enforcement officer. We’d rather check out something and find out it’s a false claim than to miss that one child that needs a rescue.”

The tip line for the National Centers for Missing and Exploited Children is 1-800-THE-LOST. You can report your tip online at You can also call police if you suspect a child is in danger or is being exploited.