Members of Nevada’s Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees heard sometimes emotional and shocking, but at all times sobering testimony on the problem of human trafficking and a bill designed to combat it.
“A pimp controls all aspects of a prostitutes life,” a Las Vegas Metro detective told them. “What she eats, what she drinks, what she thinks, the clothes that she wears, her hair style. He controls everything.” The young victims are treated worse than livestock – sold, beaten and sometimes tattooed – a form of branding – with their pimp’s name.
Reno Police Sergeant Ron Chalmers says in one recent case, the pimp and three of his prostitutes had the same tattoo–his name.:
Though many prostitutes are now adults, witnesses said, that doesn’t mean they are consenting. The prime target for recruitment are the young. Amy Ayoub was an underage recruit to the sex trade. Decades later she was telling her story to a room of legislators explaining first hand how pimps control their victims. “Pimps are physically violent,” she says, “and if they’re not beating you every moment, which they’re not, there’s the threat of that.” And that fear can block attempts to prosecute.
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto says the proposed bill would strengthen the hand of the legal system, provide stiffer penalties and treat those forced into the life as victims rather than criminals.
Learn more at Ed Pearce’s KOLO News Now article: Lawmakers Hear Heartbreaking Stories of Human Trafficking.