Human Traffic Watch

Sex trafficking of minors: Time to stop dancing around the issue

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on September 12, 2012 at 11:54 am

The deputy public defender representing McIntyre on appeal, Zack Mazer, told The Oregonian, “In America, we don’t convict people based on … whether we like them or not. We convict them based on whether they did a specific thing on a specific date.” True enough. The devil is in the exact details.

Prosecutors are rightly frustrated. Some persuasively point to what they see as an inconsistency in how Oregon law is applied: Other judges have allowed seemingly similar evidence in court. That’s worth exploring.

This decision is most frustrating, however, because convicting suspected pimps of trafficking underage girls is often a mission impossible. They leave anonymous paper trails, and victims are reluctant to testify for fear the pimps will beat or kill them.

“In one case I was involved with last year, the pimp’s ‘friends’ gang-raped the girl to make sure she and the others knew he was still in charge,” Linda Smith, a former U.S. congresswoman from Vancouver and the founder and president of Shared Hope International, told me. Shared Hope is an organization dedicated to eradicating sex trafficking. Even after a pimp is on trial, Smith says, “his girls are still on what is called ‘automatic,’ meaning they are required to raise the quota each day that they were making before he went to jail. It’s often used for his legal defense or bail.

Source: Oregon Live


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