DENVER (CBS4) – The pornography industry is worth billions of dollars yearly. CBS4’s Jennifer Brice took a rare look into the world of porn and human trafficking happening in Denver. She met a woman who used to be in the sex trade and now speaks out against it.
Jessica Neely is a survivor of the porn industry. Her life, however, started on a very different path from the world of pornography.
“I didn’t know anything else but my relationship with God,” said the now 35-year old woman who grew up a pastor’s daughter between Cedaredge and Colorado Springs.
Neely also become a woman of the cloth herself, following in the family footsteps. When she was a 22-year-old, and still a virgin, Neely was living in Estes Park. It’s there that she was working as a youth minister when her life turned upside down.
“I was going out to my car to warm it up when my head was slammed against my car,” she said. “I fell on to the ground.”
Neely was raped by a stranger.
“I wasn’t angry at the person; I was angry at God.”
That’s when Neely’s life changed, radically.
“I am going to choose who I have sex with,” Neely recalled about her mindset. “I am going to choose to get up, put my clothes on and walk away.”
Promiscuous, she said, became a sex addiction. Sex graduated to professional porn. Porn then fueled prostitution.
Her insights to the porn industry is eye opening. She said when a person consumes a scene they are watching the woman and men of that industry self-destruct. Neely said many people in that industry are victims of some kind of abuse. She also said porn is a breeding ground for the human trafficking world.
“Every single person in pornography escorts. It is human trafficking.”
To keep her escorting rate competitive, Neely said, she would sign up for as many porn scenes as possible.
And before she knew it, the Pastor’s daughter would eventually become a madam with a brothel out of the Denver Tech Center.
“I was a madam based on what I learned in pornography.”
According to Neely, social media sites are ripe with women of all ages that she would turn into escorts. She targeted women ranging from 18 to 35 years old. She said those women were everything from college students, models, and single moms. Neely would “groom” them the same way, appealing to their needs, weaknesses and financial woes.
Her pitch: “You’re already having sex for free,” Neely recited. “Why don’t you join me?”
Neely says she would zone in on the girls posting provocative pictures on social media sites. She said she knew by the way they portrayed themselves online that they needed attention for a reason.
The quest for attention is what Neely preyed upon.
“I’m not going for modest girls because I don’t need to go through their morals.”
Neely said she didn’t have time for anyone’s morals.
“It would take less than three days to groom a girl,” Neely said.
She would take the women escort prospects to expensive dinners at Shanahan’s and Elway’s.
“When I toted this lifestyle in front of them, seduction was so easy,” admitted Neely. “To go after their college debt, I’m like, ‘I can cure that in less than a month.'”
Neely said she would even set the girls up with various plastic surgery appointments within weeks of bringing them onboard.
The women, Neely said, were more challenging to get onboard, but “clients” were in abundance.
“They were your politicians, your sports teams, any gentleman with some extra dollars.”
At best, Neely made $10,000 a day between porn and human trafficking, but money was the only thing she had.
“I didn’t have my friends; I didn’t have my dreams.”
It took 10 years for Neely to get out of the sex trade. She is now an advocate who speaks out against the pitfalls of porn. She travels to schools and churches across the country and tells parents and students how porn kills love.
The night CBS4’s Brice met Neely she was speaking at a conference called “Not for Sale” across Colorado. At Roca Fuerte High School Brice watched her preach about the porn to a group of teenage boys. She told them they would never be satisfied with the path of porn, “Or with the woman God gives you if you are entangled in porn.”
After the conference Brice spoke with several teenage boys who attended. Christian Salcedo, a junior, said that the conference made him realize how much porn is a problem in our community.
“Society has normalized it,” said Salcedo. “But just because it’s normalized doesn’t make it okay.”
Jeriel Jimnez said that on his Facebook and Snapchat accounts, even his friends are provocative in how they portrait themselves.
“They post very sexual posts and it’s become a norm,” Jimnez said.
Neely says technology now gives porn addictions a place to form, right in the palms of our hands. The addiction, she said, is starting very young. Her advice to people about porn is simple, but sobering.
“One scene is one too many and a thousand is never enough,” said Neely. “This is something that can never ever be satisfied.”