After her father raped her, Jean became one of the roughly 12,000 Texas kids in long-term foster care, a system that often leaves children more damaged than when they arrive. DALLAS — At 16, Jean was the more experienced sex worker in the Southeast Dallas house.It was her job to ensure the new girl's trial run as a prostitute went smoothly.For the state, that meant assuming the extraordinarily difficult job of parenting a young girl with a complex history of abuse, who was now a parent herself.For Jean and her daughter, it meant being consigned to the care of a state agency in turmoil, where kids — especially those who have suffered the greatest trauma — are at high risk of being lured into the sex trade. District Judge Janis Jack wrote in a 2015 legal opinion, "rape, abuse, psychotropic medication and instability are the norm" and children often leave more damaged than when they arrive.Jean told police about the abuse a year after she gave birth to a baby girl, and prosecutors quickly built a case against her father.
"We either pay now, or we pay later." "We gave you the money you asked for," said Jane Nelson, a Republican from Flower Mound and the Senate's chief budget writer.
Jean had recognized the dead look in the new girl's eyes.
All of a sudden, phantoms from her own past — ones she had "pushed down so deep and ignored so much" — were impossible to keep at bay.
In fifth grade, Jean's father claimed he would begin home-schooling her. Periodically, in an attempt to dodge child welfare investigators, Jean's father packed up and moved, dragging her from Oklahoma to Arkansas to Texas.
Instead, he took her into a bedroom and blindfolded her, telling her she was going to have sex with a boy she liked. By the time they landed in Paris, Texas, in 2009, the 13-year-old was pregnant with his child.