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January 11th was National Sex Trafficking Awareness Day. On January 10, 2020; a Portland man was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison after he was convicted of sexually trafficking a girl he started grooming when she was only 11 years old
The Dark Side of Portland by Jack Kerfoot
"Ahad Shaukak Hasan Jr. knew exactly how to starve this victim from a normal adolescence," stated Deputy District Attorney Trista Speer, who prosecuted this case. "To him, she was a commodity and an object that he could control for his own profit."
Tragically, sex trafficking has been operating in the shadows of Portland for years. The Washington Times reported that Oregon state police report encountering three to five trafficking victims a week. Although the Sexual Assault Resource Center, an advocacy group that offers services to Portland-area victims, estimates that it handled 75 cases in 2009, it also says that for every girl in its system 10 more are still being exploited.
Stopping child sex trafficking is particularly difficult in Portland. The city has more strip clubs per capita than any other city in the United States. Portland also has a tolerant attitude toward sex, both legal and illegal. The U.S. Interstate corridor that stretches from California to Washington state, leads sex traffickers to Portland's many homeless children and runaways.
Washington state's stronger laws and stricter penalties have encouraged many sex traffickers to move from Seattle to Portland. The Portland Police Bureau has over 100 vacancies in their current organization, which limits the effectiveness of the Human Trafficking Division.
Sex-trafficking is a despicable, crime that targets runaways and homeless children. If you agree with me and want to see our city find solutions to stop sex-trafficking in our city, please consider adding your name to my list of public supporters for my campaign.
Together we can find solutions to the issues facing our city. Thank you for reading this blog and thank you for your support.
This article was reprinted with permission from Jack Kerfoot. Jack is a candidate for Portland Commissioner.
 "Portland man who raped girl, 12, then sex trafficked her gets 7.5 years prison sentence" by Katie Williams, The Oregonian/OregonLive, January 11, 2020.
 "Portland's Dark World of Sex Trafficking" by Michael Elseth, The Washington Times, July 28, 2010.
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