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Sex Trafficking Survivor Speaks Out After Katie Britt Falsely Uses Her Story Against Biden

CNN spoke with Karla Jacinto, the Mexican sex trafficking survivor at the center of the story Katie Britt used to implicate Joe Biden on immigration.

Screenshot of Karla Jacinto; Screenshot of Katie Britt

In the contentious aftermath to Alabama Republican Senator Katie Britt's rebuttal to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, the woman whose story Britt featured in her speech, Karla Jacinto, spoke out against the apparent political exploitation of her harrowing experience.

In the wake of Britt's use of Jacinto's story to try to fear monger about Joe Biden's immigration policy, journalist Jonathan Katz uncovered the truth about the story: that it happened in Mexico 20 years ago, and that Jacinto was the subject.

You can watch Katz's master class below:

During Britt's response, she recounted meeting a woman who had been sex trafficked at age 12, placing blame on Biden's immigration policies for the ongoing crisis. Jacinto, a survivor of sex trafficking, clarified to CNN that her victimization occurred before Biden's presidency and criticized politicians for their lack of genuine empathy when wielding such stories for political gain.

She said:

“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."
“I work as a spokesperson for many victims who have no voice, and I really would like them to be empathetic: all the governors, all the senators, to be 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 [Britt] should first take into account what really happens before telling a story of that magnitude."

You can hear what Jacinto said in the video below.

Woman who appears to be at center of Katie Britt's SOTU anecdote has message for the Alabama senatorwww.youtube.com

Further, CNN's Rafael Romo further fact-checked Britt:

Jacinto says that one, she was not trafficked by Mexican drug cartels but by a pimp...

Two, she also said that she was never trafficked in the United States, as Senator Britt appeared to suggest.

Three, she was kept in captivity from 2004 to 2008 when President George W Bush, a Republican, was in office as opposed to the current administration as the Senator implied.

Romo concluded:

Jacinto told me no one reached out to her to ask for her permission to use her story as part of a political speech...

...Someone using my story and distorting it for political purposes, she told me, is not fair.

Many echoed Jacinto's criticisms of Britt.

According to CNN, Jacinto said that she met Britt at a public event at the southern border—as has been corroborated in CNN's prior reporting—not in a private one-on-one setting as suggested by Britt.

Additionally, she pointed out that she was trafficked during the presidency of George W. Bush, not Biden, and by a pimp, not Mexican drug cartels. Indeed, Jacinto was in captivity between 2004 and 2008, when Bush, a Republican, was in office.

Britt has maintained the accuracy of her story and claimed in an interview with Fox News that she "very clearly said I spoke to a woman who told me about when she was trafficked when she was 12."

Journalist and author Jonathan Katz said Britt was “fundamentally dishonest” by using Jacinto's story for political gain, pointing out that anyone could quickly find the actual facts by looking up Jacinto's 2015 congressional testimony, which only highlights how Britt created a “beyond misleading” impression that the events took place during the Biden administration.