Kim, a 13-year-old middle school student, is posting selfies on a public Instagram account. She has dreams of being a model and follows a list of social media influencers who aren’t afraid to show a lot of skin in their posts. An older man direct messages Kim on Instagram after seeing some of her provocative pictures online. The older man showers Kim with compliments. Their relationship progresses to exchanging phone numbers, texting frequently and eventually the two meet in person at a local coffee shop after school.
Kim keeps her meetings secret from her family and friends. The older man often buys Kim new clothes and expensive gifts, including a new cell phone. The relationship becomes sexual and Kim is convinced the two are in love. At some point in the relationship the older man expresses concern about his financial situation and tells Kim there’s a way she can help make the couple some extra money. The older boyfriend explains he has a friend who will pay for sex. At first Kim is reluctant and scared, but her boyfriend argues it will “just be this one time.” And since Kim is already sexually active, she thinks “What’s the harm in getting paid?” The older man also points out all of the things he has done for her: gifts, clothes, nails and that new cell phone. After this first encounter the older boyfriend becomes more controlling and violent, and demands that Kim continue to see customers.