A Dubuque man accused of human trafficking and pimping was recently allowed a plea deal in Iowa District Court, meaning John R. Hart (Telegraph Herald, Dec. 31) pleads guilty to pimping: Human trafficking charges are dropped. A “bitter pill” to swallow from Iowa District Court Judge Thomas Bitter.

Human trafficking is a billion-dollar — with a “B” — business that includes your neighborhood. Your family. Your children. Pimps prey on the vulnerable of our community and make way for others to purchase humans for their sexual needs. It is important to remember that prostitution exists because men (and women) want sexual access to people they don’t want to be accountable to. Simple economics: Stop the demand. You stop human trafficking.

While I am not a fan of the Alford plea deal, I hope prosecutors in the case secure the five-year maximum prison sentence allowed under Iowa state law for the felony.

I am grateful for our local law enforcement for their solid investigative efforts in uncovering this case. People, please educate yourself on what human trafficking looks like in the tri-state area and beyond. Advocate for those trafficked. You can help eliminate human trafficking.