After running away from a group home, the Pawtucket girl ended up working for this woman. Grandfathers, fathers, businessmen — she told me the kind of guys you'd never think of,” said the girl's mother, who called the police after she discovered pictures of her daughter posted under “escorts” on a classified ad website. Day One, an agency that supports victims of sexual assault and trauma, says it is treating 20 trafficking victims.Within three weeks, the girl told detectives, about 40 to 50 adults paid to have sex with her. The state Department of Children, Youth and Families says that in the last year, 20 girls ages 13 to 16 have been referred for sex-trafficking investigations.Last summer, when she was 14 and hospitalized again, she drew a picture for her mother, writing: “Think positive. This time, the Pawtucket police say, she met another teen, who told her how she could make money.

“The 95 corridor has traditionally been used as a gateway for drugs, from the Cape to Boston, and you can also include human trafficking,” Caron said.

The traffickers Some of the sex trafficking is run by Asian organized crime, which is bringing underage girls into the casinos in Connecticut, said Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of U. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, in Boston.

Most of the victims have a history of being abused. Law enforcement and child welfare investigators say the pimps meet girls through other girls — some at group homes recruit others — or at house parties, or in the neighborhood. Some find the girls and young women in chat rooms online or through advertisements for “modeling” or being in rap videos.

Online factors “I've seen an incredible increase, and social media has a lot to do with it,” said Stephanie Terry, associate director of child welfare services at the DCYF.

Three women, including one who started at age 16, were trafficked by two men from Yonkers, N. A Missouri man was convicted of enticing a 17-year-old girl from Medfield, Mass., and prostituting her at the Super 8 motel in West Greenwich.

The problem is significant enough that Eric Caron, the Homeland Security regional agent based in Rhode Island, formed a human-trafficking task force this year with the state police, the Providence and Warwick police, and the FBI to share information and investigate cases.

Even after the law changed in 2009, the trade flourishes in Asian massage parlors, rings of undocumented Chinese, Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants trafficked in from New York City, and “escorts” sold in online classifieds.

Since the 2009 state laws that criminalized indoor prostitution and human trafficking, the police have found a 15-year-old Boston girl dancing at Cheaters Gentlemens Club in Providence.

She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety. The girl adored her father and moved in with him and his new family for a few months. She skipped school and was declared “wayward” by her parents.