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In , Dallas Grassbaugh was 23, homeless and supporting a debilitating drug habit by selling her body for sex. Then she met Shane Roach. She'd already escaped two sex traffickers by then, and Roach, an aspiring hip-hop artist from Albuquerque, promised he could help and protect her. Roach bought her a meal and drove her to a motel, where she rented a room. Inside, he took away her cellphone and ID and told Grassbaugh she now belonged to him.
He imposed several rules: She wasn't allowed to go anywhere without him or contact anyone without his approval. She was required to call him "Daddy. And he showed her a picture of her grandmother's house in another state.
Roach advertised Grassbaugh online, offering sex with her in exchange for money, all of which he kept. She was forced to work from 7 am every morning until 4 am the next day. If men stopped calling, she was allowed a few hours to sleep, but at 7 am, she was on duty again.
Once, when Roach thought she'd tried to contact someone without his permission, he beat her with the telephone in a motel room until her skin split open and blood gushed down her face. He then informed her he planned to sell her to another pimp—a transaction that, if completed, would mark the fourth trafficker in just a few years who considered her his property.
Grassbaugh escaped soon after, with help from a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that aids sex trafficking survivors and police. She went on to testify in court against Roach for nearly 10 hours, helping prosecutors send him to prison for more than a decade. SFR spoke with survivors and reviewed sex trafficking cases rooted in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and other states that bear numerous similarities to those here.