Former child prostitute identified by DPD sergeant in Netflix-hosted film sues production company

DENVER – A victim of child sex trafficking who was named by a Denver Police Department sergeant and whose face was shown in a 2013 film that was hosted on Netflix is suing the company that produced the film for publicly identifying her.

Attorneys for the girl, identified in the suit as “Jane Roe,” originally filed the lawsuit in Denver District Court on Dec. 11. At the time, the production company, Three Generations, Inc., and Netflix, Inc. were both named as defendants.

But Netflix had the case moved to federal court in Denver earlier this month, and attorneys for the girl have since dismissed the claims against Netflix, citing the 1996 Communications Decency Act that has been interpreted to mean that internet service operators are not publishers and are thus not liable for the content of third parties.

The suit centers around Three Generations’ 2013 film, “Tricked.” It claims that the DPD sergeant, Daniel Steele, was interviewed in the film and “disclosed personal details related to [Roe]’s sexual abuse, including [Roe]’s name and photographs.”

In “Tricked,” Sgt. Steele, who works in DPD’s Special Investigations Division, is noted as being an expert in prostitution and human trafficking crimes, and repeatedly talked about the girl and her history. The film also included her full name in the credits

Roe’s attorneys argue that since Roe is a victim of a sexual crime, she is protected from having her identity disclosed in Colorado under the Criminal Justice Records Act, and that her name and identity “were not available for any other public source” aside from the film.

Her attorneys argue the film has been seen “thousands” of times in Colorado, and that thus, Three Generations have violated state law.

They say Roe suffered “humiliation, anxiety, embarrassment, and social stigma” because of the film, and asks for actual damages, emotional distress damages, injunctive relief against the production company, pre- and post-judgment interest on damages and court and attorney’s fees.

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