Prayer vigil held for alleged victims of sex trafficking

Prayer vigil held for alleged victims of sex trafficking

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Advocates stood in solidarity Thursday for the alleged victims of pastors Cordell Jenkins and Anthony Haynes.

"You're a man of God," said Elesondra DeRomano, executive director of the S.T.A.R.S Program. "They're supposed to be able to trust you, so we have to be their voices. If no one can be their voice they are voiceless, but when I am around they're not going to be voiceless."

While Jenkins and Haynes wait for their day in court in jail, a handful of advocates and former victims of human trafficking came together in prayer to support the victims in the case.

A group gathered at Unity United Methodist Church near East Toledo to lift up victims of human trafficking. Some traveling from Columbus to show their support.

"It is important to know that these are victims, they need to be supported," said Troy Lindsey, a retired social worked from Columbus. "They need to be helped so it's my passion that I become that support or that voice."

"There's a whole lot of people right now in that church that aren't believing that it happened, well, wake up," exclaimed EleSondra DeRomano, executive director of S.T.A.R.S. "Wake up, yes it happened and it's going to continue to happen until people take a stand against it and that's what we're trying to do today."

Prayers Thursday not only lifted up the victim, but called for conviction.

But they also want other victims to know, they are not alone. There is hope. There is help.

"In my heart of hearts, I know that there's more victims," said DeRomano. "I want them to see this and I want them to know that somebody is out here that does love you, somebody is out here that cares about you."

EleSondra says she is in contact with the victim who is safe and doing well tonight, but both Cordell Jenkins and Anthony Haynes are in jail and expected in court next week.

If you know someone who needs help S.T.A.R.S has a 24-hour crisis hotline, you can call 419-280-2451.

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