January 18th, 2011

CNN’s Amber Lyon investigates teen trafficking in America

Amber Lyon Reports for ‘Selling the Girl Next Door’ debuts Sunday, Jan. 23 at 8:00pm ET & PT on CNN/U.S.

Selling the Girl Next Door takes viewers into the world of underage American girls caught up in the violent sex trade.  Hundreds of thousands of girls under the age of 18 are ensnared into lives of prostitution annually, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.  Many are runaways or “throwaways” trapped in “the oldest profession” by pimps who sell them using modern sales and marketing techniques.

In a year-long investigation, CNN correspondent Amber Lyon reveals the devastating realities of the business of underage sex – speaking to a young teen runaway sold online from a Las Vegas hotel, the men that obsessively seek Internet sex connections, and women long into careers as sex workers who were trafficked as teens or children.

Selling the Girl Next Door debuts Sunday, Jan. 23 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT on CNN/U.S.  Selling the Girl Next Door will debut on CNN International on Saturday, Feb. 5 (please check local listings for airtimes).  The documentary replays on CNN/U.S. on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET and PT.

Along the way, Lyon interviews well-known brothel owner Dennis Hof.  Hof’s sex workers describe their own dark pasts and the frightening underworld of underage sex trafficking.

Lyon also goes undercover herself, posting an online ad, and taking calls from solicitors – and Internet pimps – to understand more about how girls are victimized by traffickers.

An interactive map on http://www.cnn.com/siu, posted after Wednesday, Jan. 20, will share Lyon’s coast-to-coast journey – from Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee and Nevada – trailing runaways, finding their families, meeting sex workers, and visiting a “Johns’ school” where convicted solicitors are forced to face the social and criminal consequences of their actions.

Selling the Girl Next Door was produced by Steve Turnham.  Courtney Yager was associate producer.  Kathy Slobogin is managing editor for CNN’s Special Investigations and Documentaries unit.  Scott Matthews is the executive producer for the unit.

Contact: Jennifer Dargan: jennifer.dargan@turner.com; 404.885.4638