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Louisiana mother of human trafficking victim speaks out

NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) - A New Iberia woman says her daughter was abducted and forced into sex trafficking two weeks ago in New Orleans.

Her daughter, 18-year-old "Emma", has been in the hospital since she was rescued from a hotel in Metairie.

Emma, who is from New Iberia, was forced into prostitution by two human traffickers for more than 10 days.

Her mother sat down with News 10 to talk about the trauma her daughter has been through with the hopes that her story can help save others

“One evening I got a text message from Emma saying 'Can you come get me? Hurry', and I asked what was wrong. She said, 'Don't text my phone back because it goes off and they are monitoring it,'" says Emma’s mother. 

Emma’s mother would soon find out her daughter was being forced into sex trafficking. 

Emma had lived a rough life. She was adopted at age 8 and taken away from an abusive home.

She was molested and abused in her teen years. Her mother says Emma was even arrested for stealing a vehicle. 

“She did manage to graduate from high school through homeschool. Once she was released from jail she was living with me and then she ended up in Baton Rouge," he mother said. 

In Baton Rouge, Emma was looking for a job when she met Dianna Viator, a Mamou woman who was operating under an alias. Viator told Emma she was looking for a nanny to travel with her family.

“I spoke to the lady on the phone and she told us to call the number anytime we wanted to speak to Emma, and we did. She sent me videos of the kids swimming, having a good time. Everything seemed normal,” says her mother. 

Everything seemed normal until Emma’s mother got those frantic text messages. Emma sent her mother her location. That’s when the mother called the hotel. 

Hotel employees then called the police. Her mother says by the time she got there they had five or six police cars and a woman was already in the back of a police car. 

Viator, was booked on May 14 for human trafficking. A man involved with Viator is still on the run. 

Emma’s mother says her daughter's health is now her main concern. “She’s not mentally stable at all, based on the trauma in her life she is not psychologically well at all. We’ve got to help her heal and be an advocate for her. We have to stop this from happening to anybody else.”

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