SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is calling for more resources to help combat sex trafficking in our state.
Reyes says Utahns need to start realizing that it’s happening in our state and newly-released numbers prove it. According to Polaris, in 2017, there were 41 cases of human trafficking. Thirty-three of them were sex trafficking.
With numbers like this, Reyes says he's not going keep quiet about this crisis.
"Human trafficking definitely exists. People want me to stop talking about human trafficking. That's not going to happen," said Reyes.
Reyes says when it comes to sex trafficking, Utah has a problem.
"If you look globally it's an epidemic with 40-50 million modern day slaves worldwide but it's also happening here domestically. We have to fight it right here in our backyard and also help empower our friends worldwide to fight it," said Reyes.
Reyes says he has two investigations with at least a dozen human trafficking cases sitting on their desks right now, but with more resources, they'd be able to tackle a lot more.
"The reality is we only have two full-time investigators in the entire state of Utah that are doing these cases. If we had 10 investigators, I'm pretty confident that we would multiply those cases," said Reyes. "We can make Utah a place where a trafficker will think not just once or twice, but three times and say, there's too much heat here, there's too much risk."
“If that's what we create here in Utah, which I think we're getting close to, I really think that those folks will run away to other jurisdictions," said Reyes.
Another thing Reyes touched on was encouraging the public to report suspicious behavior that could possibly be sex trafficking. Reyes says if it's not being reported, they can't stop it.
National Human Trafficking Hotline
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