Investigating sex crimes: Writing about trafficking, prostitution and rape

  • Event: 2019 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Gabrielle Banks of Houston Chronicle; Nadia Hamdan of KUT 90.5; James Pilcher of The Cincinnati Enquirer
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 14 at 11:30am
  • Location: Meyerland
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

An NFL owner is busted for visiting a massage parlor linked to sex trafficking. A city sues dozens of prostitutes, pimps and johns to rehabilitate a neighborhood known for its notorious “track.” Meanwhile, sexual assault survivors confront challenges from police departments focused on clearing their caseloads and judges who can exercise wide discretion in sentencing.

The news cycle increasingly features stories that involve sex and crime in many permutations, as attitudes change toward policing of sex workers, child predators and rapists. This panel will discuss how to tackle these difficult subjects and how to handle logistical challenges, legal battles and difficult interviews, not to mention the ongoing debate over consent and sexuality.

Speaker Bios

  • Gabrielle Banks covers federal justice for the Houston Chronicle and helped with Hurricane Harvey team coverage that won an APME Grand Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Once a teacher, social worker and organizer, she has covered justice and legal affairs for two decades at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Los Angeles Times with freelance gigs at the New York Times, Newsday, Miami Herald, Mercury News and San Francisco Chronicle. Follow at @GabMoBanks.

  • Nadia Hamdan is a reporter, producer, and host for Austin's NPR station. Her reporting has been heard on NPR's Morning Edition, NPR's All Things Considered, WBUR's Here & Now and the BBC World Service. Nadia received her bachelor's degree in International Relations & Global Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. 

  • James Pilcher is an investigative reporter for the Cincinnati/Kentucky Enquirer and has been a practicing journalist for the past 25 years. He's won numerous journalism awards and was part of the reporting team at The Enquirer that won the 2018 Pulitzer for Local Reporting and recently published stories on sex trafficking and police misconduct. James teaches investigative and data journalism as the Journalist in Residence for the University of Kentucky.  @jamespilcher

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