Pedophilia in the U.S. is "unprecedented" and has reached an almost "epidemic level," according to assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division Joseph Campbell.
Although the FBI rescued 600 children last year, the FBI believes that tens of thousands of children are still being sexually exploited.
Hundreds of children are sold every night for sex, the BBC reported in an investigative piece on child sex trafficking in the U.S.
"The level of pedophilia is just unprecedented right now," Campbell said. "We have so many cases constantly of individuals in all walks of life, from the very wealthy … to all other levels engaged in child pornography, child exploitation … it just seems to be almost an at epidemic level."
The vast majority of the children trafficked in the U.S. are not Mexican or Central American, but are American.
In Minnesota, I met with former sex workers who had sought support through an advocacy group called Breaking Free. Half of the women in the group were under the age of 18 when they first were sold for sex. Many of the others were not much older than 18.