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Sex Trafficking Survivor Calls Out Sen. Britt For Inaccurate SOTU Story

A sex trafficking survivor is firing back at Republican Sen. Katie Britt’s distorted retelling of her story in a prime-time response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address last week, saying she believes her harrowing experience was used by Britt purely for political purposes.

“In fact, I hardly ever cooperate with politicians because it seems to me that they only want an image. They only want a photo, and that to me is not fair,” Karla Jacinto Romero told CNN on Sunday when asked about the Alabama senator’s motive.

Jacinto, in a translated interview from her native Spanish, said she would like to see politicians be more empathetic with “the issue of human trafficking because there are millions of girls and boys who disappear all the time.”

“People who are really trafficked and abused, as she [Britt] mentioned. And I think she should first take into account what really happens before telling a story of that magnitude,” Jacinto said.

Karla Jacinto Romero, seen in 2018, was a victim of human trafficking for years in Mexico. She testified about her experience before Congress in 2015.
Karla Jacinto Romero, seen in 2018, was a victim of human trafficking for years in Mexico. She testified about her experience before Congress in 2015. PEDRO PARDO via Getty Images

Though Britt did not mention Jacinto by name in her speech, her communication director confirmed to The Washington Post that the story was about Jacinto.

Britt, in her highly emotional, televised response to Biden, said she met Jacinto in Texas after taking office in 2023 and heard her story of being sex trafficked by drug cartels starting at the age of 12. Britt blamed President Joe Biden’s handling of the border for what happened.

“We wouldn’t be OK with this happening in a third-world country,” Britt said. “This is the United States of America, and it is past time, in my opinion, that we start acting like it. President Biden’s border policies are a disgrace. This crisis is despicable.”

A number of falsehoods have been widely flagged about Britt’s story, however.

Jacinto’s experience occurred over four years during President George W. Bush’s administration, when Biden was still a senator. It also took place in Mexico — not the U.S., as Britt implied — and she was trafficked by a pimp and not a drug cartel.

Jacinto testified about her experience before Congress in 2015.

Britt defended her retelling when confronted in an interview Sunday with Fox News about the facts of the matter.

“To be clear, the story that you relate is not something that’s happened under the Biden administration, that particular person?” host Shannon Bream asked her.

“I very clearly said I spoke to a woman who told me about when she was trafficked when she was 12, so I didn’t say a teenager,” Britt replied. “I didn’t say a young woman — a grown woman, a woman when she was trafficked when she was 12.”

Britt also again falsely characterized Jacinto’s abusers as drug cartel members.

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