For the past four years, Marisol Nichols has been helping bring dramatic plotlines to life by playing Hermione Lodge on Riverdale. As a new report recently revealed, she has been using her free time while on the hit The CW series to help seek justice for exploited children. Marie Claire recently published a story about Nichols' life volunteering with law enforcement to help catch child predators, a crusade that she has been involved with over the past five years. Nichols, who is also set to appear in the upcoming Spiral: The Book of Saw, has reportedly participated in half a dozen sting operations, in which police and FBI agents seek to lure in and arrest pedophiles.
Nichols first became interested in law enforcement through researching for roles on shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which led to her going on ride-alongs with detectives.
“It gave me mad respect for these guys,” Nichols revealed. “It sparked my interest in the trafficking world, realizing and really being on the other side of the underbelly of society.”
After going on an acting hiatus, Nichols started the nonprofit organization Foundation for a Slavery Free World in 2014, which led to her being invited to witness and undercover operation in Haiti. Through a series of events, Nichols was unofficially recruited to participate in the operation, using her acting skills to pretend to be trafficked girls, or mothers trying to pimp their children. The report chronicles one two-day operation, in which Nichols and a team of other agents successfully arrest multiple men by luring them to a motel with online advertisements on the dark web. Often, these involve Nichols assuming the voice of a young child over the phone, as a way to provide "proof of life" to the potential criminals.
Nichols, who says "the entire trajectory" of her life was changed after being gang-raped at the age of eleven, feels a personal responsibility to help protect and save other children from being swept up into trafficking.
“Your mind protects you from that much evil,” Nichols said of the reality of child sex trafficking. "If good people don’t know about it, it will keep happening, because good people are the only ones who will do anything about it. They’re the ones who, when faced with inhumanity, will try to stop it. Because you have to try, right? Even if it doesn’t work.”
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.