KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After facing scrutiny during a 41 Action News investigation, a national nonprofit organization said it will not be returning to Kansas City for an annual fundraising walk.
The 41 Action News investigation questioned claims made by Stop Child Trafficking Now (SCTNow) .
The organization said it used private ‘special operatives' teams to gather intelligence and present cases to law enforcement agencies. When pressed for more details, SCTNow could not point to a single case in the country where information lead to an arrest or prosecution.
The fundraising event in Kansas City raised more than $30,000. Despite telling 41 Action News that all the money would stay in the community, SCTNow could not name a local organization that would receive a portion of the donations.
A week after the investigation aired, the videos on SCTNow's web site disappeared , and several other areas of the site were labeled, "under construction." The organization later changed its leadership structure.
When contacted by 41 Action News about doing a follow-up story this year, SCTNow said it would not be holding a fundraising walk in Kansas City.
"Last year, our efforts to identify child predators and bring awareness to the issue of child sex trafficking in Kansas City resulted in criticism of our organization by individuals from other groups. Their attacks were facilitated by the reports aired by KSHB," wrote executive director Greg Wark in an emailed statement.
"This year, we are enlisting supporters and raising money in communities that believe in us and our cause. We hope to return to Kansas City to do a walk in the future without having to defend ourselves for simply working tirelessly to help stop the scourge of child trafficking."
Watch the original investigation here: http://bit.ly/TxEJdS
41 Action News started investigating after receiving a letter from a Johnson County resident who heard of SCTNow through her church and was skeptical of the nonprofit's approach.
"I think it's very important that someone asks the difficult questions about where the money raised in Kansas City will go," the woman wrote last year.