STROUDSBURG, Pa. — There’s a task force in the Poconos aimed at fighting human trafficking.
It’s how Lacey Goldsmith was able to escape her trafficker and find her way back home.
Goldsmith is a human trafficking survivor; her daughter was born while she was trafficked.
The two were rescued together in 2018.
“My first thought was it’s finally over. Like it’s finally over. That was my first thought, ‘it’s finally over,’ and my second thought was ‘oh my gosh, my baby,'” said Goldsmith.
It was four years ago when Detectives from the Monroe County Criminal Investigation Division answered an online prostitution ad at a Tannersville motel.
The investigation would eventually reveal Goldsmith, and another woman were both victims of human trafficking at the hands of John Golom, who forced the women to engage in prostitution in multiple states, from Florida to Pennsylvania to New York.
Goldsmith, finally ready to tell her story, says it started in 2015.
She was a young mother looking for extra cash to support herself and her then young son.
A friend suggested becoming an escort, and Goldsmith answered an ad.
She says a lavish life was promised, but that’s far from the life she ended up living.
“He just slowly manipulated me into more and more and more, and then next thing I know, everything is kind of gone,” she said.
Goldsmith’s son would go to live with her mother in Florida.
For about three years, Goldsmith says her trafficker used her children as a way to manipulate her and keep her working.
She says he used verbal abuse and violence to control her. She wasn’t sure she’d ever make it home.
“I mean these traffickers, they are extremely controlling. They control everything. Where you go, what you eat, the phone that you use, they are constantly checking it,” she said.
Goldsmith has been home since December of 2019.
She says the help and resources she received from detectives in Monroe County is what got her to this point.
She hopes her story inspires others to seek help.
She’s married to the father of her firstborn and now has three children.
Golom is in federal prison, convicted of federal sex trafficking offenses.16 WNEP