Famed Crusading Human Rights Lawyer Charles A. Bonner Pens a Novel Approach to Child Sex Trafficking: The Bracelet
The lines between fiction and nonfiction are blurring and giving rise to a new form that might best be called “true fiction”.
So it is with Charles A. Bonner’s groundbreaking new novel The Bracelet that is presented as fiction but is based on literally thousands of cases, some he litigated as a Civil Rights Trial Attorney, many dealing with child prostitution and child safety issues. Do we read nonfiction in order to receive information, or do we read it to experience art? Bonner does several things at once. Taking his cue from Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Bonner dons a memoirist’s hat as he interweaves his own experiences as a lawyer fighting to expose serial sexual predators. And as a facile prose stylist, he vividly convey the sights, sounds, and smells that their victims encountered living in the ghastly chamber of horrors, the windowless, underground room, the dirty foam bed, the grate with a metal chain, the bucket for a toilet. The daily beatings, rape, humiliation of the young women who tell the same horror story of being dragged off the street into a dungeon losing all contact with the outside world. With Bonner’s deft, artful writing, we meet multi-millionaire Karl Burmel (John Jamelske in reality) a collector of women – a serial rapist who scooped up runaway girls and other vulnerable women off the street and stashed them, one by one, in his windowless, concrete cocoon until he finally released them, blindfolded or in the dead of night, after months or years of captivity. This is true fiction, freed from rigid constraints, the boredom of statistics. What remains is an unforgettable tale that demands attention. Of course, there’s another descriptor that has long been associated with Bonner That descriptor is justice, to which he has devoted his life. Yet not until now – until this searing new chiller of a thriller about child sexploitation, has justice assumed an even greater role. Justice has morphed from a noun to a verb – enacted by Bonner with a vengeance – fueled not only by his intense love of justice, his profound knowledge of law, but his unparalleled ability to dispense it. Charles A Bonner is a man of action. While others speak of justice, Bonner creates the ways to achieve it – and he has done so in this book casting a sharp eye over the political and cultural landscape as he takes a literary scalpel and a shotgun to the guilty parties.
A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to the Bracelet Charitable Foundation Freedom Fund to empower victims of all forms of slavery.
Brought to light are the established mafias that dominate the trade. The big players in Europe today are Russians, Albanians, and Ukrainians (and recently, in Italy, Nigerians). In southeastern Europe, Turkish, Kurdish, Serbian, Greek, Bulgarian, Hungarian, and Romanian networks move Eastern European women into Western Europe and the Middle East. Many of these groups simply added human trafficking to existing crime portfolios, often running women alongside traditional contraband, like drugs and arms.
Even those in the group at highest risk—poor young women—tend to see trafficking as something that may happen to someone else, but not to them. In surveys, most victims say that they don’t know anyone who’s been trafficked. That may be partly because women often conceal this experience, even from their own families. Add desperate poverty and an unhappy household—the standard “push factors”—and the pipeline of likely trafficking victims neve runs dry.
By gracefully weaving in interviews with madams and other sexual gatekeepers — and sometimes even the pimps or johns themselves —Bonner constructs an insightful, resonant, and nuanced narrative that details just how complex and massive this problem.
Why do we treat children as victims in cases of sexual abuse, but as soon as money is exchanged, we deem these sexually abused children as “criminals?” Why is there such an overwhelming demand for sex with a child? Are we adequately teaching our children sexual respect? Why are men obsessed with power, property, and world domination of women? The problem is monumental: